New 52-bed domestic violence shelter to open

EVERETT — In a place that exists because of suffering, the walls exude warmth.

Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County is set to open a new 52-bed shelter next week at a former military site in north Everett. The shelter is the culmination of seven years of hard work, planning and donations from people in the community, said Vicci Hilty, Domestic Violence Services’ executive director. They raised more than $4 million to renovate the space.

The three-acre property, worth another $4 million, was designated as federal surplus in 2012. The site now houses an administrative office and a former gymnasium converted into a two-story shelter.

“We really wanted to change that military style and make it into a place that was comforting and cheerful but mostly comforting,” Hilty said.

On Friday, the smell of fresh paint still lingered. The colors were chosen with care: purples, grays, greens and yellows, Hilty said.

“It was mainly about feeling safe, warm, happy,” she said.

The sleeping rooms have windows, bunk beds and private full bathrooms. Each bed is draped in a homemade quilt donated by women from Faith Lutheran Church in Everett.

The Boeing Employees Community Fund contributed industrial-size kitchen appliances, including a refrigerator, freezer, oven and dishwasher. The local EverTrust Foundation gave dining room tables and chairs.

There also is a teen room, a children’s room and a computer room.

They wanted to create spaces where families could be together, Hilty said. Some of the bedrooms share private inner doors so larger families can take up two rooms if needed. There are downstairs rooms for people with physical limitations.

Roughly 300 people attended a ribbon-cutting earlier this week, including U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson.

Many people involved in the project left some kind of permanent mark on the space, Hilty said.

Work continues at the site. Two small play-equipment areas are planned in the back yard for little kids and big kids. The Rotary Club of Marysville is donating a garden bench.

A standalone garage is being converted into a youth center. That project was possible only after a $75,000 donation from BDA, Inc., of Woodinville, Hilty said. A BDA employee, Susan Brockert, was murdered by her partner during a company trip in 2011. She was 44. Brockert will be the namesake for the Susan’s Youth Center. Some of her relatives attended the ribbon-cutting at the shelter, Hilty said.

In the past year, the old shelter has served nearly 200 people and had to turn away more than 900 families, Hilty said. The old building has 15 beds.

On Friday, a donated teddy bear sat on top of each new quilt on each new bed.

“There was so much love put into this place from the beginning,” Hilty said. “The dream started seven years ago, and people just never gave up.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

Get help

To protect victims from abusers, Domestic Violence Services asks that exact locations of the current and proposed shelters not be disclosed.

If you or someone you know needs help regarding domestic violence, contact the Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County hotline at 425-25-ABUSE, or 425-252-2873. The hotline is free and confidential, and advocates can help with safety plans. Friends, families and colleagues of victims also are encouraged to call.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Snohomish County seeks input on spending American Rescue Plan dollars

In-person events across the county will help guide more than $80 million in federal recovery money.

Mandy Jeffcott and Aaron King explore the area beneath a highway underpass while conducting a PIT count Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County homelessness rose to 10-year high, count shows

Data released Monday confirmed what advocates suspected: The local homeless population grew amid the pandemic.

Sam Bowles records the run off the water from a chalk drawing with friend and co-artist, Rhyanna Mercer, Tuesday afternoon in Everett, Washington on May 10, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Jackson High’s global TikTok star is chalk full of ideas

Sam Bowles, 18, uses vibrant videos and social media fame to raise awareness of autism.

Everett
Nonprofit offers free mental wellness event for local teens

The Saturday gathering at EvCC, sponsored by Leadership Launch, is for teens in eighth grade through college.

Everett
‘Prepper’ arrested in Everett after grenade, explosives found

The suspect was described as “anti-government,” police wrote. He remained in custody Monday.

State Rep. April Berg will resign from Everett School Board

The Mill Creek Democrat will step down June 1. Meanwhile, she filed Monday for re-election to the state House.

Juan Luna, left, and Jeff Austin tune up bicycles to be donated Tuesday afternoon at Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop in Everett, Washington on May 10, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Afghanistan, Ukraine refugees get bikes, bus passes and rides

One nonprofit needs volunteers to repair 40 kids bikes for refugees. Another agency could use cash gift cards.

A woman was struck by a car while crossing HIghway 99 on Dec. 2, 2021. (Lynnwood Police Department)
Woman charged in Highway 99 death of Lynnwood pedestrian, 72

Prosecutors allege Tachelle Thomas was under the influence of THC when she hit and killed Fozieh Shirdelhefzabad, 72, in 2020.

Rainey Forzetting makes a kratom smoothie at her home in Lake Stevens, Washington on March 29, 2022. Blueberries, 6 grams Kratom, a triple berry mix, almond butter, pomegranate and oak milk make up her daily concoction. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Sold as elixir, kratom popularity surges in ‘Wild West’ of legality

Doctors warn kratom, an opioid alternative, is addictive and ripe for abuse. Yet it’s unregulated and sold at any smokeshop.

Most Read