Next year, the organization aims to start construction on a five-story building that would move people with mental and addiction issues who are experiencing homelessness into permanent housing with support services. The second phase, still years off, would demolish the 70-year-old Bailey Center — that lines Broadway — and replace it with an 82,000 square-foot facility.
The new $26 million supportive housing building will be built at the corner of Lombard Avenue and 33rd Street. Once sheltered, residents are then connected to treatment and other assistance programs.
“It’s a super effective model,” said Tom Sebastian, CEO of Compass Health. “Housing is really the lynch pin for creating the opportunity for economic prosperity and better health outcomes.”
The region needs more housing resources for this population, Sebastian said.
In 2019, 150 supportive housing units are set to open in Everett. Most recently, Clare’s Place began operating in July with 65 apartments for the chronically homeless.
The first floor of Compass Health’s new building will contain offices, communal areas and a peer-recovery support center that holds daily activities.
A goal of the design is to promote community, Sebastian said.
On the upper floors there will be 81 studios plus a three-bedroom apartment, which will be used as a transitional space for people being discharged from Western State Hospital. The other apartments will each have their own kitchen and bathroom.
The new building will be staffed by eight employees during the day and two at night.
A house currently on the site will be demolished.
Funding for the project comes from a combination of public and private sources, including Snohomish County, the Washington State Department of Commerce, the State Housing Finance Commission and Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines.
The apartments would double Compass Health’s housing capacity in Snohomish County. Next door to the prospective project is a 40-unit complex.
“Projects like this not only help the individuals they directly serve, but also our entire community by improving overall public health and safety,” Mayor Cassie Franklin said in an emailed statement.
The organization is not planning any off-street parking on the site. Supportive housing projects require a smaller number of spots compared to other projects, but to eliminate the requirement altogether requires approval from the city. Public outreach must also be done.
Compass Health is proposing the new project share parking with a building next door. That lot, Sebastian said, is under-utilized. Plus, it is unlikely any of the residents will have cars, he added.
Money is still being raised for the next phase, which includes a roughly $44 million mental health and addiction treatment center. But that proposal could run up against roadblocks. City code adopted in the Metro Everett plan doesn’t outright allow medical clinics or social services to operate on the ground floor of the city’s downtown. At this location, approval from the planning director is needed.
With the changes, medical clinics and social services already operating downtown can remain, but can’t be replaced by a new clinic. Supportive housing projects are treated differently. They’re allowed to operate clinics or social services on the ground floor, according to Allan Giffen, Everett’s planning director.
Compass Health is in discussions with the city about that obstacle, Sebastian said.
The redesign of the campus is in line with the city’s Safe Streets program, which aims to address homelessness, mental illness and addiction in the city, he said.
Sebastian is optimistic the new building will be approved.
Public comment is being accepted on the plan for the supportive housing building until Aug. 12. Comments can be emailed or mailed to Teresa Weldon at firstname.lastname@example.org or City of Everett Permit Services, Project Planner Teresa Weldon, 3200 Cedar St. 2nd Fl. Everett, WA 98201.