Cocoon House raises $8 million for new building

EVERETT — Cocoon House, a nonprofit that serves homeless youth, is now two-thirds of the way to its fundraising goal, without going out to the public.

The organization has raised $8 million in a $12 million capital campaign for a new headquarters with nearly double the number of beds.

Cassie Franklin, the organization’s CEO, said she hopes to have the remaining $4 million raised by July 31.

This is also coming at a time when federal grant money is expected to be in short supply. President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calls for a $6 billion cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among the proposed cuts is the complete elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program.

Cocoon House receives block grant funding, as do most other homeless service providers in the county, Franklin said.

“If they cut that program, projects like this won’t happen,” she said.

“Finalizing the funding for this project and finishing this campaign is more important now than ever,” Franklin said.

Cocoon House is in the process of purchasing the old Spirit of Grace United Methodist Church at 3530 Colby Ave., for its new headquarters. The new building would nearly double the number of beds to about 40, and combine the main residential facility and the U-Turn drop-in center under one roof. It also would provide space for more services.

The new Cocoon House also is expected to have rooms for young adults up to age 24. While legally considered to be adults, many people that age might not have the maturity to stay in the same facility as adults who have lived on the streets for years.

It’s less about the building than about investing in the services for people who have few other options, Franklin said.

“Its $12 million for a really innovative system of care,” she said.

The target was reduced from an initial goal of $15 million in December after Cocoon House was passed over for a state Housing Trust Fund grant.

Franklin said the group is applying for the grant in the next funding cycle and also working with the Legislature to try to secure funding through the appropriations process.

Contributions have come from 60 different agencies, groups, businesses and individuals. Several large companies and organizations made significant early contributions.

Fluke Corp., the Everett manufacturer of electronic instrumentation and sensor products, pledged $250,000, as did the Dobler family and their company, Gamut360 Holdings, a real estate development firm.

Several donors preferred to remain anonymous, Franklin said. Other donations to the campaign were provided by the Providence General Children’s Association, People’s Bank and Coastal Community Bank, providing $100,000 each. The EverTrust Foundation contributed $75,000, and the D.V. and Ida J. McEachern Charitable Trust and the KeyBank Foundation both contributed $50,000.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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