Occupancy Begins Tuesday July 6th For Everett Pallet Shelter Pilot Project

June 29, 2021


There are a total of 21 Pallet Shelters on an Everett Transit property behind the Everett Gospel Mission.

Amenities have been funded by the community who donated more than $25,000.00 in two weeks.

At 64 square feet it is more secure bedroom than than tiny home.

Patrick Diller, Head of Community Partnerships for Pallet explains about the shelters built here in Everett.

L to R EPD Sgt. Fairchild, EPD Officer Davis, Everett Community Development Director Julie Willie and Community Support Coordinator Kelli Roark.

It’s taken three years from vision to fruition but next Tuesday July 6th the first residents will receive orientation and begin occupying twenty temporary shelters behind the Everett Gospel Mission in Everett, Washington.

Today the City and Gospel Mission staff offered a look at the shelters which are made here in Everett by Pallet.

There are twenty units neatly set up in rows on land owned by Everett Transit directly behind the Mission. There is a 21st shelter for a caretaker set a bit apart from the others.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin spoke of the various staff involved including Transit who provided the property, Public Works who prepared the land making it ADA accessible and running power and water, Community Development Department who are selecting the residents to occupy the space and Snohomish County Human Services and the State of Washington who provided the funding for the pilot project.

Franklin also spoke of the purpose saying, “The only way to recover from living on the street is to get inside.” She added, “People need to change from day to day, hour to hour survival mode and feel safe before they can work on their issues.”

“Pallet Shelters are not a replacement for permanent housing,” said Patrick Diller, Head of Community Partnerships for Pallet. “This is their bedroom with the “house” around them the community, services and help.

The shelters are 64 square feet and are built out of a material that is mold and pest resistant.

They have a life span of ten years and can be easily taken apart and moved. Panels can be swapped out if a part of the shelter is damaged.

They have climate controls to keep them from getting too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. There’s a bed, a hot pot and room to securely store their personal property and have their own safe private space.

Restrooms are outside. Meals are delivered or residents can eat in the dining area at the Mission just steps away which also offers showers, washers and dryers and services to meet people where they are.

“Trust issues are major for this population,” said Sylvia Anderson who is the CEO of the Everett Gospel Mission. “We want to earn the right to be involved in their lives.”

Anderson says the project has received strong community support raising more than $25,000.00 over two weeks to pay for the amenities for the shelters including bedding, supplies and even the plants outside each unit.

She said the area businesses were also supportive with not one negative comment at the recent Hearing Examiner’s meeting where the pilot project received final approval.

The housing here is a first step for people who previously lived under bridges, in tents or just curled up under cardboard. Unlike Clare’s Place which is permanent supportive housing for the long term, this is temporary but there is no time limit immediately imposed on residents. It is a low stress, low barrier environment designed to get people to feel safe and then work on their issues.

The Everett Gospel Mission stepped up to be a partner and will have 24-hour security and full time mental health support for residents. John Hull with the Everett Gospel Mission said that as a community we have to have options in dealing with homelessness in Everett and the Everett Gospel Mission wants to be part of those options.

There is a list of 60 or so people who the Community Support team of social workers at the City of Everett is working through to determine who should be brought as residents to the Pallet Shelters over the month of July.

The limit for the space is 30 people which means that there is still more need than available space. That means you’re going to still see people in tents around Everett.

The “No Sit-No Lie” ordinance will go into effect in July with the opening of the Pallet Shelter Pilot Project but Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman says enforcement of that will start gradually. “Our approach will remain as it has over the last several years with outreach, educating, informing and finally enforcement,” said Templeman.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin asked the Community to have patience. “There are simply more people experiencing homelessness than we have resources,” she said. “This will be successful and we will grow our resources to meet the need.”


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