Local leaders cheer after a ribbon is cut at HopeWorks Station on Friday in Everett. The building will have 65 units for families, veterans and young adults. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Local leaders cheer after a ribbon is cut at HopeWorks Station on Friday in Everett. The building will have 65 units for families, veterans and young adults. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Hundreds gather for HopeWorks Station opening in Everett

Inside, housing and other resources are available for those who are homeless or living in poverty.

EVERETT — Once Stephen Biggs moves into his new apartment, he plans to find a job and begin a new chapter of his young life.

Biggs, 23, is soon going to live in the brand-new HopeWorks Station on Broadway in Everett.

He had nowhere to go before finding the apartment. At first he was couch-hopping, and later became homeless.

“This gives me a lot of stability I haven’t had in years,” Biggs said. “My life is going to change for the better.”

On Friday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered at HopeWorks Station for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The building at 3315 Broadway has been under construction for more than a year. The center provides housing, job training and social services for people who are homeless or live in poverty.

Biggs grew up in Monroe, but lately has been staying all over the place, he said. He heard about the new apartments through the Snohomish County human services department.

Biggs doesn’t have a stable income now, but hopes to find a permanent job once he moves in. He’s gone to trade school before and doesn’t plan to use the center’s job training.

HopeWorks Station has a few options for people to build work experience — at a landscaping business called GroundWorks, at a home and decor consignment store called ReNewWorks and at a restaurant now called Kindred Kitchen. It used to be CafeWorks.

Kindred Kitchen is on the ground floor of HopeWorks Station. It opens for business in a couple of weeks and will serve breakfast, lunch and coffee.

Behind the service counter are shiny stainless steel appliances and open shelves made of wood and metal. One wall is dark gray and the rest are white. Modern furnishings fill the seating area, and natural light spills in through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Upstairs, there are 65 apartment units with studios, and one- and two-bedrooms available. Most are reserved for veterans, families in drug court and young people ages 16 to 24 who don’t have stable housing.

Each unit has a gauge that displays in real time how much energy is being used, and every floor has a recycling center. There also are 532 solar panels on the roof to help power the building.

All of the apartment doors open to a central outdoor courtyard with greenery, wood beams and strings of lights.

Local leaders gave speeches during Friday’s event, including Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin.

“As I got a tour I was thinking of the residents, and the abuse and neglect and trauma they’ve experienced,” she said. “Then I started thinking about the support and compassion and training they are going to get in this building, and I did get teary. I’m teary now.”

After, everyone was invited to take a tour. Some were there to see their new apartments.

Andrew Pliss, 34, is moving onto the third floor. He’s looking forward to his view of the Cascade Range.

A while back, Pliss lost custody of his children. He’s now in Family Drug Treatment Court, which means he’s working to build a clean, stable, drug-free home for himself and his children.

Now, two of his kids, ages 7 and 4, are going to live with him in the new place. Since his children were born, the family has lived with Pliss’ mother.

He’s happy now they all get their own space.

“I’m just really thankful for this place,” he said. “It’s going to make a big change in my life. I can’t wait.”

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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