Work on shelter finally begins

EVERETT — The walls were bare, the dreams big.

Snohomish County leaders packed the rooms of a former military site in north Everett on Tuesday morning to celebrate a ground-breaking for a new domestic violence shelter planned there.

The event marked more than six years of work by Domestic Violence Services and community partners to secure the site, officials said. They plan to renovate existing buildings to house the shelter and staff.

The federal government designated the three-acre, $4 million property surplus in 2012.

Speakers on Tuesday included U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson.

Domestic violence is the biggest cause of homelessness in the community, Stephanson said.

“I know all of us wish that we didn’t need facilities like this,” he said. “We must face reality and the reality is we need more protection for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.”

Snohomish County councilmembers, Sheriff John Lovick, Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring and Everett Police Chief Kathy Atwood also attended, as well as Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe and numerous other civic leaders.

DVS Executive Director Vicci Hilty spoke briefly, thanking people who have worked on the project.

“It’s not a building, baby, it’s a heart,” she said.

After the speeches, people posed for pictures holding shovels at the site. Others took tours.

In the halls before the event, DVS board members greeted each other with hugs and smiles.

Two of them, Pete Grodt and Bernie Terry, co-chaired the campaign to raise money for the project.

Grodt saw the legal notice in the newspaper announcing that the property was declared surplus, he said. The move will save DVS roughly $48,000 a year in rent.

Having everything in one place also will save time and money, Terry said.

The old shelter has 15 beds, Grodt said. The new one will have 52.

“Isn’t it great, Bernie?” he asked.

“I have my pockets full of Kleenex,” she said.

The city helped secure grant dollars for the project as well, Stephanson said. He also thanked Larsen for help in securing the site.

On Tuesday, there was plenty of work left to do at the property. Black wire cages full of old office chairs lined one end of a gymnasium. Signs printed on office paper marked planned locations for services, including a teen area.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

Note: To protect victims from abusers, Domestic Violence Services asks that exact locations of the current and proposed shelter not be disclosed.

More in Local News

Man, 29, injured by shots fired at Everett thrift store

The gunfire followed an argument in the parking lot of Value Village on Evergreen Way.

Inslee’s budget solves school funding with help from carbon

His budget would use reserves to boost education, then replenish them with a carbon tax or fee.

Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Celebrating the origins of Christmas

LDS church holds annual nativity festival featuring more than 600 sets.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Most Read