Marc Boucher holds his son Maverick, 4, at a motel on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Marc Boucher holds his son Maverick, 4, at a motel on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

After leaving Everett shelter, family’s next step is uncertain

The Bouchers have been buoyed by support from readers of a previous Daily Herald article. But long-term, much is to be determined.

ARLINGTON — Amanda and Marc Boucher met on a Greyhound bus.

She was Amanda Baumgartner then “spontaneous and crazy” as she now remembers her 21-year-old self. Sick of living with her parents in Everett, she hopped on a bus with $15 in her pocket, bound for Pennsylvania where she had people she knew.

He was 29, traveling from Wyoming to Florida to take care of an elderly friend.

“For me, it was love at first sight,” Amanda said.

They got to talking. He saw she wasn’t getting off at the stops to get food. When he asked why, she told him she had no money. Before they parted ways, Marc slipped $20 in Amanda’s pocket without her noticing.

Thirteen years later, the pair sat at a table in an Arlington motel surrounded by their five children Thursday. They’ve been through a lot together. Last week, the Bouchers had to leave the Interfaith Family Shelter in Everett, where they’d been staying for over three months.

Left to right, Amanda Boucher, Carter Boucher, 2, Marc Boucher, and Maverick, 4, sit together at a motel in Arlington, Washington on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Left to right, Amanda Boucher, Carter Boucher, 2, Marc Boucher, and Maverick, 4, sit together at a motel in Arlington, Washington on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

The shelter can only house people for 90 days, with extensions granted in special circumstances, due to city permit and government grant requirements.

Case managers there work with families to secure housing. For the most part, it works. Jim Dean, Interfaith’s executive director, said their success rate is 78%.

But an unlucky 20% fall back into homelessness after leaving the shelter.

What happens next for the Bouchers is still to be determined.

Amanda’s health problems leave her disabled. Among other issues, she has been living with epileptic seizures that started about a year ago. Stress makes them worse, but exactly what’s causing them is unclear.

“It’s very frustrating to sit here and go, ‘I don’t know what’s going on with my body,’” she said.

Marc has to be a full-time caregiver for his entire family. He watches Amanda constantly for seizures while doing the bulk of the child care.

Marc Boucher, left, watches as Makayla Boucher, 11, spins her brother Maverick, 4, at the Everett Self Storage Depot, at 2727 Maple St. in Everett, Washington, on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Marc Boucher, left, watches as Makayla Boucher, 11, spins her brother Maverick, 4, at the Everett Self Storage Depot, at 2727 Maple St. in Everett, Washington, on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Because of the demands of taking care of the kids and Amanda’s disabilities, neither parent can work.

That makes the Bouchers’ situation unusual, said Brenda Bolanos-Ivory, an advocate who has been helping the family. Families often split up, she said, because many shelters that have places for women and children don’t accept men. But Marc can’t live apart from his family because of Amanda’s health.

In the short-term, the family has been buoyed by support they’ve received from readers of a previous Daily Herald article about their situation. People sent items from their Amazon wish list and paid for them to stay in the motel for a couple weeks.

The kids especially like the blankets and clothes people sent them.

From left, Mason Boucher, 8, Karter Boucher, 2, and Mia Boucher, 9, snack on a Lunchables and play games at a motel in Arlington, Washington on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

From left, Mason Boucher, 8, Karter Boucher, 2, and Mia Boucher, 9, snack on a Lunchables and play games at a motel in Arlington, Washington on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

The Bouchers have about a week left at the motel covered by donations. Hotels.com gift cards, also donated, will tide them over for another week or so after that.

A lawyer is helping Amanda apply for disability benefits. Marc is sorting through conflicting information on how to apply for benefits as a caregiver.

Next Monday, the family is set to meet with the Anacortes Family Center, which will help them apply for an emergency housing voucher. Meanwhile, Amanda has been researching Rapid Rehousing programs.

Currently, the Bouchers are receiving food stamps and other assistance.

Mia Boucher, 9, snacks on a Lunchables with Karter Boucher, 2, at a motel in Arlington, Washington, on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Mia Boucher, 9, snacks on a Lunchables with Karter Boucher, 2, at a motel in Arlington, Washington, on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Some of their benefits go toward paying for two storage units that hold all the things they can’t take with them due to limited space. They are also looking at campsites as an option, where they’ll be able to use gear people have donated to them.

Motel life hasn’t been bad. Amanda has mobility issues due to chronic health conditions, so she likes that everything is on one floor.

But the whole family has been missing the friends they made at Interfaith.

Last Wednesday, they bid a tearful goodbye to those friends as they left the shelter.

“I love you guys with all my heart,” one said as she hugged the Bouchers’ oldest daughter, Makayla. “Take care of your mom.”

The Bouchers have long been taking care of each other. They expect the future will be no different.

Sophia Gates: 425-339-3035; sophia.gates@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @SophiaSGates.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Public Works Senior Engineer Randy Loveless looks out over Everett’s 101-year-old reservoir at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Reservoir 3 Replacement Project on Tuesday, July 23, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
With looming earthquake threat, Everett breaks ground on $80M reservoirs

Contractors will replace a 100-year-old reservoir east of Evergreen Way with two smaller ones.

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)
Former Monroe High teacher charged with sexual misconduct

In a police interview, Giles Stanton acknowledged relationships with former students, reportedly saying “he felt a bit like Bill Clinton.”

Lauren Davis, left, Lori Theis, Dunia Wabenga
Public safety is a central question in south Snohomish County race

Rep. Lauren Davis is running for a fourth term. Republican Lori Theis and Democrat Dunia Wabenga are trying to unseat her.

Lynnwood
Boy, 15, stabbed after fight on bus north of Lynnwood

Police arrested a suspect, 32, for investigation of assault in the alleged stabbing Tuesday off Highway 99.

Lily Gladstone poses at the premiere of the Hulu miniseries "Under the Bridge" at the DGA Theatre, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Mountlake Terrace’s Lily Gladstone nominated for Emmy for ‘Under the Bridge’

The nomination comes after Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe wins for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Lead Mammography Technologist Starla DeLap talks about the different ways the Hologic 3D Mammography Exam can be situated around a patient on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Providence Everett launches early breast cancer detection program

Prevention4Me, the hospital’s new breast cancer risk assessment tool, will help doctors and patients expedite diagnoses and treatment.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.