Snohomish County purchases second hotel for housing

The county has purchased hotels in Everett and Edmonds with pandemic relief funds. The hotels will be converted into temporary accommodation.

EDMONDS, Wash. — Snohomish County announced Monday it is buying a second hotel to help people transition out of homelessness.

The building is currently America’s Best Value Inn on Highway 99 in Edmonds. The county said there are 55 units that will be converted into temporary bridge housing.

“Mountlake Terrace, Lynwood, Edmonds, we don’t have facilities in South County so this gives us all an opportunity to support people,” said Shannon Burley, Edmonds associate director of parks, recreation and human services.

Burley said Edmonds had been asking the county for a facility like this “for some time.”

The county bought the hotel using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Last week, the county announced it would use the same funds to purchase a hotel in Everett. The county said between the two hotel purchases and a new accommodation partnership program, it increased its system capacity by 26 percent this year and added 165 new beds.

Burley said the city estimates there are at least 450 homeless people in Edmonds. They’ve already used America’s Best Value Inn to house people temporarily while they work to find a more permanent solution, which Burley said is hard to find in South Snohomish County.

“Really, our only option was to take her to Everett and hope to find space, but there really isn’t any space.” There’s just no shelter for people,” Burley said, “so so that we can help people recover [this purchase] is really important.”

While the facility will be county-owned, Burley expects it will provide significant assistance to people who lack housing in the greater Edmonds area.

The bridge shelter will allow Edmonds to enforce an ordinance issued in May that made it unlawful to stay overnight on public property. Burley said the law was unconstitutional without the ability to provide protections considered equal to or better than current living conditions.

“So this gives us an opportunity to offer something that we believe offers dignity and really offers an opportunity to help people on their journey to recovery with the set of services that the county wants to offer,” Burley said.

The county plans to offer comprehensive services that include legal, behavioral, and mental health. The facilities will also be staffed 24 hours a day. Snohomish County purchases second hotel for housing

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