Snohomish County To Give Everett, Washington $4 Million Dollars To Purchase A New Shelter – Hope Church Site Appears No Longer In Play

April 27, 2023


Hope Church is located on Rucker Avenue south of the Totem Diner and north of the Everett Family YMCA.

Received a little more information from Snohomish County on a change in their plans to purchase the Hope Church property at 4502 Rucker to use as an emergency shelter for 40 people currently sheltered at the United Church of Christ at 2624 Rockefeller Avenue in downtown Everett, Washington.

The lease with Snohomish County and Everett Gospel Mission for that housing program is set to expire in June and the County was looking at the Hope Church as a replacement property but that now appears to be off the table.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin made an announcement at Wednesday’s Everett City Council meeting that the Hope Church purchase by Snohomish County was no longer happening and Snohomish County would be giving the City of Everett $4 million dollars to purchase a shelter site. Mayor Franklin told the City Council and audience in part, “Although this may feel like a win for the neighborhood (which we totally understand) we do still have many individuals who are living unsheltered in our community that we must serve.”

You can click this link to see the City Council meeting, the comments on the Hope Church and also citizen and public comments on a proposed ordinance banning use of controlled substances in public and “buffer zones” near service facilities and areas of concern around Everett, Washington.

Today Snohomish County provided two documents related to the Hope Church Site. The first is an email sent by the leadership of Hope Church to their partners explaining that the property is back on the open market. Here is that email.

From: Hope Church
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2023 9:53 AM
To: Jim Dean
Subject: Update on the Sale

For our Hope Church Partners,
We wanted to share with all of you an update on the sale process for our building. As a quick review – after we (as a church) decided to move forward with the sale of our building, we contracted with a real estate agent to handle all aspects of that sale. We had received interest from multiple parties – and she invited all of them to make an offer on the building, based on the appraisal we received as well. Of those who expressed interest in the building, only one formal bid came to fruition – that with Snohomish County. We voted to approve that process and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the County to work towards a sale.

That MOU was signed in January and as of April 11th has actually expired. Which means, we are no longer in any official process with the County. The County has shared publicly that they are pausing in their process to purchase the property and so your Leadership Team feels it’s within our best interests to pursue other buyers/investors/developers at this time. We believe we have a valuable piece of property, and the sale of that property will allow us to do some exciting ministry in the future. When we have a new offer, or offers, to present to the congregation we’ll do so.
In the interim, we plan to move forward with our move and joint ministry with Holy Cross. If this process raises further questions for you, we’d be happy to answer those as best we can.

Pastor Bill and your Leadership Team

The second document is a memo dated April 25th from Lacey Harper, Executive Director for Snohomish County to Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin outlining the partnerships between the County and the City and the $4 million dollar offer for Everett to use to purchase a shelter.

To: Cassie Franklin, Mayor, City of Everett

CC: Ken Klein, Executive Director, Snohomish County
Alessandra Durham, Chief of Staff, Snohomish County Executive Mary Jane Brell Vujovic, Director, Snohomish County Human Services Brenda Stonecipher, President, City of Everett Council
Jennifer Gregerson, Special Projects Manager, City of Everett

From: Lacey Harper, Executive Director, Snohomish County

Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Subject: Partnering with the City of Everett

As you know, Snohomish County and the City of Everett have a longstanding partnership to address the many issues caused by homelessness and the behavioral health crisis in the City. In addition to the expansive programs we fund that benefit the City, a few of the projects implemented over just the last year include:

• Increasing the number of Pallet shelters in Everett
• Increasing emergency housing capacity through the purchase of the Days Inn
• Increasing funding for helping professionals serving vulnerable residents
• Supporting expanded refuse management capacity and security services throughout the downtown area
• Conducting an extensive cleanup along Highway 99.

In addition, there are a number of proposed projects which we have offered to fund but are in various stages of implementation by the City. These include:

• Everett Public Toilets ($250,000)
• Pallet Shelter Expansion ($250,000)
• Security for Downtown Everett ($187,500)
• Commerce Shelter Grant Funding ($200,000) through Everett Gospel Mission
• Emergency Solutions Grants ($315,000) through Everett Gospel Mission.

Finally, since the facility we were exploring, Hope Covenant Church, is no longer available as a potential shelter site, we have set aside $4 million to be used by the City to purchase a new shelter to replace the UCC site. Since the City is best positioned to secure a shelter site within its jurisdiction, we believe this will both expedite shelter acquisition and is more in line with how we work with other cities and towns in Snohomish County.

In addition to offering the City this grant funding for the purchase of a new shelter, our intention is to extend the lease agreement at the UCC shelter for another six months or until a new facility is available. We believe turning

40 vulnerable people onto the streets of Everett is neither compassionate nor good for public safety. If you have concerns, please let us know.

We would be happy to brief you and your team on this plan and next steps.

Editor’s Note: will continue to follow developments as the City of Everett, Washington addresses homelessness, mental health issues, open drug use and crime. While often lumped together under an umbrella of “homeless crisis” there really are four separate things going on. Each having to be dealt with individually.

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