Top, from left: Chris Collier, Megan Dunn, Mindy Woods. Bottom, from left: Beth Doglio and Jacque Julien. They participated in a Snohomish County housing informational panel hosted by Dunn on Tuesday.

Top, from left: Chris Collier, Megan Dunn, Mindy Woods. Bottom, from left: Beth Doglio and Jacque Julien. They participated in a Snohomish County housing informational panel hosted by Dunn on Tuesday.

Hundreds seek housing in Snohomish County — but are on hold

Housing challenges were the focus of a virtual panel hosted by Snohomish County Councilmember Megan Dunn.

EVERETT — Over 900 people are homeless in Snohomish County and waiting for a resource navigator to help them.

The county’s Coordinated Entry system is overwhelmed, said Mindy Woods, a board member for the Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance. Fewer than 10% of people who enter the system are getting help. There simply isn’t anywhere to house them.

This week, Woods and other advocates gave updates on affordable housing in Snohomish County at a panel hosted by county Councilmember Megan Dunn. There are a range of challenges, panelists said: There’s limited shelter availability, the 211 system is overwhelmed, and people most affected by county housing decisions often don’t get a chance to provide input.

“When it comes to creating solutions, Black and brown bodies, and those closest to the problem, are excluded from engaging and charting the course,” said Jacque Julien, executive director for Communities of Color Coalition. “… That continues to be an issue across not only our county, but across our state.”

Julien said the county needs better data about its residents in crisis. People seeking help also need more ways to access it, rather than calling 211, Julien said.

“We don’t currently have a system that is set up in place to support the needs of our community,” Julien said. “Therefore, we shovel and funnel — it’s like a one-stop shop — and in reality, that’s never going to get us to where we need to be.”

Even finding room at a shelter is incredibly challenging, Woods said. Only one exists in south Snohomish County. It has a two- to four-month wait list and only accepts women and children.

The city of Edmonds has its own household assistance program, but most cities don’t. That puts more pressure on the county’s 211 system to help people with rental assistance.

“They have thousands of people in the queue waiting to get a call back,” Woods said, adding it can take up to two hours to reach someone, depending on the day and time. “… Once you’re able to get through and ask for rental assistance, the average wait time to get a call back is eight to 10 weeks — just to get the call back to start your process.”

This week’s panelists included Julien; Woods, a Human Services program manager for the city of Edmonds; Beth Doglio, a former state representative; and Chris Collier, Alliance for Housing Affordability program manager for the Housing Authority of Snohomish County.

“Things are fundamentally different today than they were 10 years ago,” Collier said. “We’re in a different era of Snohomish County housing.”

The panelists encouraged people to contact representatives at the city, county and state levels about housing issues they’re facing. A recording of the informational panel can be found on Dunn’s Facebook page.

“Call, email, write,” Collier said. “It’s that easy.”

Katie Hayes: katie.hayes@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @misskatiehayes.

Katie Hayes is a Report for America corps member and writes about issues that affect the working class for The Daily Herald.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Pablo Garduno and the team at Barbacoa Judith’s churn out pit-roasted lamb tacos by the dozen at the Hidden Gems Weekend Market on Sunday, April 28, 2024, at Boom City in Tulalip, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Eating our way through Tulalip’s Hidden Gems weekend market

Don’t miss the pupusas, pit-roasted lamb tacos, elotes and even produce for your next meal.

Reed Macdonald, magniX CEO. Photo: magniX
Everett-based magniX appoints longtime aerospace exec as new CEO

Reed Macdonald will take the helm at a pivotal time for the company that builds electric motors for airplanes.

A guitarist keeps rhythm during Lovely Color’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Black Lab in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
No matter what music you’re into, Fisherman’s Village has a hook for you

From folk to psychedelic pop to hip-hop, here’s a quick guide to artists you might want to check out in downtown Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.