EVERETT — Cocoon House’s new youth services and housing building in Everett is hosting an open house Thursday before beginning operations Friday.
Three floors of modern space, filled with natural light, will soon house 20 at-risk teens and 20 young adults.
The new Colby Avenue location will consolidate the nonprofit’s services and administration into one center. Cocoon House plans to sell two of its buildings in Everett, CEO Joe Alonzo said.
The organization previously operated an outreach and drop-in center on Broadway, and an office and long-term housing building on Pine Street.
Last week at the new space, Cocoon House staff and 30 Premera Blue Cross volunteers feverishly assembled furniture on the third floor, which will soon house at-risk 18- to 24-year-olds.
The organization previously served those under 18, but is expanding with the new building.
Each of the floor’s 20 rooms are fitted with a bed, dresser, desk, private bathroom and kitchenette. Throughout the floor, several communal pods provide a full kitchen, a gathering space for meals and an office for staff supervision.
One floor below, a similar layout will house 15- to 17-year-olds. The rooms are nearly identical but without the kitchenettes.
With large windows, sleek laminate wood flooring and mid-century furniture, the rooms feel airy and clean.
Beginning Friday, 20 teens will move in and make the center home.
The young adult floor will fill up more slowly becuase it’s a first-time service, Alonzo said. Residents there are responsible for doing their own laundry, cooking and cleaning.
“Things everyone has to learn how to do on their own,” Alonzo said.
Cocoon House is adding other new services.
“Instead of just having to make do, we’re able to expand now,” Alonzo said. “The buildings we’re vacating were never purposed for what we do.”
In addition to expanding housing to young adults, the organization will offer on-site medical services. There will also be space for counselors to meet with families.
At 3,200 square feet, Alonzo said developers had to get creative to make space for all the organization’s unique services while keeping them separate inside the building. Youths can’t access the young adult floor, and vice versa.
On the first floor, in the space that will now serve as the outreach and drop-in center, the center pays homage to the First United Methodist Church it replaced.
Bits of the church’s stained glass were mixed with concrete to make two countertops. The speckled surface will greet visitors as they first arrive.
The entry level also has a tech center for resume and job skill development, and a small recording studio. Alonzo said kids often visit the center for the first time because of the studio.
And for the first time, Cocoon House will have space to invite the public in. Alonzo envisions conferences or concerts performed by residents.
“We want to bring the community in to see what we do more,” he said.
Planning for the center started in 2014, and fundraising in 2016. At that time, the estimated cost was $13 million. After some setbacks, the price grew to $14.2 million. A donation from Premera Blue Cross covered the shortage.
“This is going to be our home base for the next 30-plus years,” Alonzo said.
Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; email@example.com.
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