Carnegie Facility Open This Weekend For Shelter From Smoke

September 12, 2020

Downtown Everett

There is fencing around the Carnegie building and jail.

Fencing is also up around the Snohomish County Campus.

The park across from the County Campus is also fenced off.

People are camping in front of the arena and the public facilities district is considering putting a fence around the property.

The Carnegie Resource Center is open during the day today and tomorrow to provide shelter for those with with nowhere else to go in downtown Everett to get a break from the smoke. The center opened in 2019 as a one-stop-shop for those experiencing homelessness in Everett and Snohomish County.

Capacity remains a problem however as Snohomish County Officials say there is not enough available bed space. On Friday we asked the Snohomish County Executive’s Office via email about the situation. Here’s the email we sent to Snohomish County.

With the smoke at unhealthy levels why aren’t people being allowed inside the Carnegie Building during the day? I drove past today and noticed the lawn is now fenced and at the Wednesday Everett City Council meeting Everett City Council member Scott Murphy reported that the Everett Public Facilities District was considering putting up fencing all around the events center as people were defecating on the property. He stated there were talks ongoing between the city and the county and that if a resolution was not recached soon fencing would likely go up.

Is the county considering allowing people in the Carnegie Building during the day? Why are people forced out each day? The county has put up fencing on most of its property in the downtown area. Is there a solution other than fencing? Are people refusing help? With Claire’s Place open and Housing Hope also open isn’t there now a sufficient number of beds in Everett? Can’t Carnegie or the former work release site be used while the smoke is so bad?

Here’s the answer received today from Kent Patton, Communications Director for the Snohomish County Executive.

The Carnegie Center is allowing people inside during this hazardous air event, and we are working on staffing for the weekend. The Diversion Center (former work release location) is at capacity and can’t house more people. Other housing options you mention are all at capacity. We do not have enough beds in the county to meet the needs of those who are experiencing homelessness. Human Services has repeatedly offered additional services to those congregating near Carnegie. also asked about issues where people congregating near Carnegie are being offered additional services but not accepting those offers.

Homelessness remains a challenge throughout the region, including in our major cities. There are as many reasons why people become homeless as there are reasons for people staying homeless. Everett has not been immune to the suffering of homelessness and the challenges it creates for businesses, residents, and city and county government, particularly during a pandemic. While many are willing to accept assistance, there are others who are not. Again, reasons for refusing assistance are very individual: they may have a pet (most shelters don’t accept animals); or be in a relationship (most shelters are gender specific); or believe it is shameful to accept assistance; or have legal challenges that make them wary of any government program. Of course there are sometimes also more complex problems related to behavioral health and substance abuse. Our Human Services Department will continue to work very hard to find individual solutions for individual problems.

Right now there are also people camped on the sidewalk across the street from the Arena. We’ll let you know if fencing goes up around the building.


About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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