Twin Lakes Landing in Smokey Point, Housing Hope’s newest and largest project, is set to be finished in 2017. (Courtesy of Housing Hope)

Twin Lakes Landing in Smokey Point, Housing Hope’s newest and largest project, is set to be finished in 2017. (Courtesy of Housing Hope)

Newest Housing Hope project in Smokey Point is its biggest

SMOKEY POINT — Planners at Housing Hope picture the nonprofit’s newest and largest project as a place where families can seize opportunities and the community can address the causes of poverty.

Twin Lakes Landing, west of I-5 near the Costco and Twin Lakes County Park, is designed to house 50 families at a time. Plans call for a central courtyard, community building, playground and sports courts.

The goal is to break ground before the end of the year, said Bobby Thompson, director of housing for the organization. It’ll likely take about eight months to build, which means it could be finished as soon as July or August. The land was purchased and planning started about three years ago.

Modular units, which come pre-built and are assembled on site, will be used for the project, he said.

Housing Hope has completed 69 projects around Snohomish County, which includes multifamily developments and team home building, where prospective homeowners help construct their houses in place of a down payment. The goal is to give low-income and homeless families a safe place to live and a chance to improve their lives. The majority of families served by the nonprofit have children.

Housing Hope was founded nearly 30 years ago in Everett but soon spread to other cities.

“It was really early on in our history that we developed a strategy to place the housing where the residents are,” CEO Fred Safstrom said.

Usually, families who lose their homes have some kind of local support from friends, churches or schools. It doesn’t make sense to take them away from that, he said.

The first project in north Snohomish County was Lervick Family Village in Stanwood. It sparked other projects in Marysville and Arlington. Then the nonprofit branched into east county. There now are separate boards of directors focused on the north and east portions of the county.

Monroe Family Village is the most recently completed project, and the largest to date. It has 47 apartments and a community space with classes and connections to public resources. The community area also offers kids’ activities and a place for neighborhood meetings and support groups.

“There’s a whole range of activities that only become possible when you have a critical mass of people,” Safstrom said.

Of the 50 families who would be housed at Twin Lakes Landing, 38 would be people who currently live somewhere that isn’t considered safe for human habitation, such as a car or shack, Safstrom said.

“This is a population that’s hidden, but it’s a large part of the homelessness in the county,” he said. “If you’re a family with a child and you’re homeless, you lose your child. So they stay hidden.”

Snohomish County maintains a list of eligible families. People can learn more about getting help by calling 2-1-1. Admission into Housing Hope units is prioritized by need. A housing specialist helps families assess their needs and a coach helps them work toward goals such as education and careers.

Providing people with a place to live isn’t the end of Housing Hope’s mission. Stable homes are the foundation for people to climb out of poverty, Safstrom said.

“We can’t do anything for anybody,” he said. “But we can help them.”

Twin Lakes Landing is close to public transportation, a health clinic and a family resource center. A food pantry is planned on site that would be open to anyone, as would classes in the community space.

The cost of the project is about $15 million. Money comes from a mix of tax credits, grants, donations and financing.

“What’s so exciting for me with this project is if you become homeless in Smokey Point, you don’t have to leave your community,” Housing Hope spokeswoman Sara Haner said. “You can stay at your church. Your kids can stay in their school.”

Creating a sense of community is crucial to helping people find long-term stability.

In Monroe, families started putting up Halloween decorations and setting out pumpkins in October. That’s a huge step for many of them, Thompson said.

“It’s a transformation for these households where things that we accept as normalcy start to become the norm for them,” he said. “And for a lot of these kids, this is the first time they’ve had that.”

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace council taps planning commissioner for open seat

With five votes, Rory Paine-Donovan was affirmed to join the ranks of the Mountlake Terrace City Council.

CEO Amy King standing outside of a pallet shelter. (Courtesy of Pallet Shelter)
After rapid rise, Everett’s Pallet hits milestone: 100 shelter villages

Temporary home manufacturer Pallet hires locals who have “experienced homelessness, substance abuse or the justice system.”

Locals from the group Safe Lynnwood gather in front of the Ryann Building on 196th Street SW to protest the opening of a methadone clinic in the building on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Despite controversy, Lynnwood opioid treatment center opens its doors

For weeks, protesters have objected to the center opening near Little League fields and a Boys and Girls Club.

A man was injured and a woman found dead Sunday night after an RV fire in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)
Woman dead, man burned in Marysville RV fire

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and Marysville Police Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

Everett Home Depot worker Jeffrey Raven Leonard, 52, holds a certificate that names him a Kentucky Colonel, an honor from the governor of Kentucky. He received the award, given to 4,000 to 5,000 people annually, for getting the word out about a hiring program for veterans at Home Depot. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
This Kentucky Colonel works at Home Depot, not a fried chicken stand

Jeffrey Raven Leonard, 52, of Everett, joins thousands of other colonels honored for good deeds by the governor of Kentucky.

Rep. Lauren Davis, 32nd Legislative District (Washington House of Representatives)
Lawmaker aims to bolster safety net for victims of domestic violence

Rep. Lauren Davis got a no-contact order against an ex-partner. Her new bill provides tools for cops and courts to do more.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Monroe in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Monroe school board member chats on Facebook during closed-door meeting

Molly Barnes allegedly solicited opinions from a group of conservative parents and employees on Facebook. It’s unclear if she broke the law.

Tala Davey-Wraight, 3, is thrown in the air by her dad Oscar Davey-Wraight, one of the Summer Meltdown headliners also known as Opiuo, during Cory Wong’s set on Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After Monroe debut, no Summer Meltdown music fest in 2023

Organizers announced Wednesday they would “take the year off in order to figure out the best path forward for Summer Meltdown in 2024.”

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A tax credit for working families and a tax break for newspapers

And a new roadblock emerges to vehicle pursuit reforms. Here’s what’s happening on Day 24 of the legislative session

Most Read