Everett To Accelerate Housing First Plans

November 16, 2015

Everett, Everett Government


Lloyd Pendleton speaks to a packed house at the Historic Everett Theatre Monday evening.

In September, the City of Everett announced plans to have 20 units of low-barrier housing for those experiencing chronic homelessness ready to use over the next two years.

Tonight, after hearing Lloyd Pendleton speak on how Utah addressed its efforts to battle chronic homelessness, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson pledged to have those 20 units up and running within a year and the first of the units occupied by mid 2016.

Pendleton was the keynote speaker of Everett’s Housing First forum and is the person who took the lead in writing and implementing Utah’s Ten-Year-Plan to end chronic homelessness.

“You will never end all homelessness,” said Pendleton. “Start small, but fast.”

Pendleton shared the Vision Statement for the State of Utah – “Everyone has access to safe, decent, affordable housing with the needed resources and supports for self-sufficiency and well being.”

“You need three things…Champions for homeless citizens, Collaboration between agencies, funders, social services, government and faith communities and Compassion for those experiencing homeless,” Pendleton said.

Pendleton explained it has to be about outcome and not process. That out of about 400 plans to end homelessness written by various cities across the country in recent years, only a couple have actually been implemented.

Among the quotes he offered…“The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred.”

While it can cost around $12,000.00 per year per person to provide low-barrier housing to those who are chronically homeless, that same person costs taxpayers more than $20,000.00 in emergency medical care, jail and public safety services.

“The cost is already being incurred,” said Pendleton. “Get past the idea that if you build it, people will flock here…they’re already here.”

He also addressed the idea that housing first is some kind of reward for being homeless. “You don’t just put people in housing and ignore them, case managers must see them and there must be accountability,” Pendleton added.

The City of Everett taped the entire presentation and is should be ready to view on Everett TV Channel by the end of the week. You can also learn more about the city’s plans online here.

There will be a second Housing First Community Forum on Monday February 1st, 2016.

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