County nixes new shelter plan, expands cold-weather refuge

A shelter at the United Church of Christ on Rockefeller Avenue will remain open year-round.

EVERETT — Snohomish County’s plan to use a state grant for a new homeless shelter in Everett is no more.

About $2.4 million from the state’s Shelter Grant Program was earmarked for a new facility that would house 50 to 60 people. Instead, the money will be redistributed to keep open, year-round, a cold weather shelter run by the Everett Gospel Mission at the United Church of Christ, 2624 Rockefeller Ave.

Jackie Anderson, a manager for the county Department of Human Services, said the amendment became necessary as pandemic delays and strict deadlines made it clear the shelter wouldn’t come together.

The county was eyeing a location connected to Volunteers of America to be retrofitted and operated by The Salvation Army, but beds needed to be ready by December 2020, and Jackie Anderson said the permitting process made that impossible.

Out of options for a new location, the county focused on expanding services already being offered.

“The idea for this grant was to bring on more beds that were longer term beds, not the short, seasonal cold weather iterations of shelters,” Jackie Anderson said.

For the 40 people who take refuge at the United Church of Christ from late November until late March, the shuffling funds could mean an extended place to stay.

Sylvia Anderson, CEO of the Everett Gospel Mission, said the nonprofit is well-equipped for the additional responsibility. Mission staff who’ve worked at the shelter since November have agreed to stay on as the additional beds continue to be essential.

“We can’t afford, in this community, to lose even one more bed,” Sylvia Anderson said. “Especially, when we all know we probably need four times what we currently have and we haven’t even been through what evictions will do to this community.”

As of January 2020, the county would have needed about 520 more year-round shelter beds to house the entire local homeless population, the human services department estimated. That’s roughly double what was available at the time.

In total, Snohomish County is receiving more than $4.3 million from the state grant to add sleeping space for those experiencing homelessness. Close to $1 million will be spent on motel room vouchers around the county and another nearly $1 million will fund about 20 individual “pallet” shelters operated by the mission at a location in north Everett.

The grant is expected to result in almost 100 beds funded through June 2023, Jackie Anderson said.

The Everett Gospel Mission will run more than half of the housing once the pallet shelters open. Sylvia Anderson said the expansion will stretch the Mission significantly, but she said they’ve been preparing for the workload and are ready for the challenge.

“There are a lot of folks invested in this succeeding, so our name may be what’s on there, but below our name is a whole bunch of partners who are helping to hold us up,” Sylvia Anderson said.

The county council is scheduled to discuss and act on the shelter grant amendment during its regular meeting on Wednesday.

Ian Davis-Leonard: 425-339-3448;; Twitter: @IanDavisLeonard.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Coupeville-Port Townsend ferry route will only have one vessel until late June, Washington State Ferries announced after an engine fire on one vessel and ongoing crew shortages. (Emily Gilbert / Whidbey News-Times)
Coupeville ferry route down to one boat through June 27

Another delay in two-boat service means Coupeville ferry riders should expect long waits until June.

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Arlington and local Cub Scouts planted trees at Stormwater Wetland Park on May 1. (City of Arlington)
Scouts, Rotarians collaborate to restore an Arlinton park

Rotary and Cub Scouts plant trees in Arlington Stormwater Wetland Park has… Continue reading

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1386 on Monday. Here, he talks in Tukwila before last week's signing of the new capital gains tax bill. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)
Inslee signs bill extending tax break used by area cities

It’s helped Arlington and Marysville attract new businesses to Cascade Industrial Center.

Matt Reed (left) with his mother-in-law, Karen Alvin, remembers the day Meredith Reed died leaving behind baby Dylan, born two months premature. Meredith died of an embolism in her lungs just after Dylan was delivered by C-section April 15.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A tragic loss, a fragile new life, a mother never forgotten

Meredith Reed died of a blood clot in her lung the day her son Dylan was born three months early.

From the third floor crow's nest of its new building in the port's South Marina, Everett Yacht Club Commodore John Seger points out what will be the club's dock on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Everett Yacht Club, at 114, gets a new home in South Marina

Once a fancy destination, the old building will be demolished — amid many changes to the city’s waterfront.

Pedestrian hit, killed by train in Marysville

Roads were closed as police investigated the scene on 88th Street NE and State Avenue.

Everett man sentenced for crashing into police car head-on

Thomas Susnios, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. He was sentenced to 8½ years in prison.

Jeffrey Phebus is sentenced to over 31 years in prison for the murder of his wife Rebecca Phebus, on Monday, May 10, 2021, at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
‘No words’: Arlington man sentenced for killing wife at work

Jeffery Phebus, 61, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 31⅔ years in prison Monday.

Detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify a suspect in a bank robbery that occurred on Monday, April 26, at the Wells Fargo Bank located in the 1200 block of 13th Street in Snohomish. (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)
Police: Snohomish bank robbery suspect rented getaway car

Police tracked down a Sultan man with the help of a rented car with Montana license plates.

Most Read