Housing Hope was founded in 1987 to address the growing problem of family homelessness in Snohomish County. Our vision was to provide affordable housing and social services for families in need throughout the County. First, we focused on Everett. We then expanded to North County and next to East County. Now in our fourth decade of operation, we are finally turning our attention to South County.
Right now, there is only one shelter in South Snohomish County, which only has capacity for 17 women and children. Families wait between two and four months to access this facility. Housing Hope is eager to provide permanent, supportive, affordable housing to help South County families experiencing homelessness get back on their feet. We are committed to being a good neighbor and building safe, sustainable housing that will serve the community for decades to come.
Why Is Housing Hope Building in South Snohomish County?
Edmonds Lutheran Church
Housing Hope’s first development in South County is in partnership with Edmonds Lutheran Church. We will be building on the vacant field on the east side of their property (23525 84th Ave W, Edmonds, WA 98026).
On June 12th, Housing Hope held a community meeting to discuss the development, and answer questions from neighbors and community members. Watch the live recording to learn more!
Housing Hope will partner with Edmonds School District to create affordable housing on an underused ballfield adjacent to Cedar Valley Community School.
Frequently Asked Questions
South County Development FAQ
Will there be staff on site?
Yes! There will be offices on site for Family Support Coaches and Property Management professionals. There will be at least one staff member on site during business hours.
What support will families have?
Housing Hope provides comprehensive wraparound services to help families succeed. Family Support Coaches work with parents to determine the root causes that led to their homelessness and develop action plans to accomplish their own unique goals. Education and Employment Specialists work with parents on basic and post-secondary education, job training, and securing career pathway employment. Child and Family Specialists also help build parenting skills and help children recover from the trauma of homelessness and poverty.
Will drug use be allowed on site?
Housing Hope does not allow illegal activity to take place at any of our housing sites. Many families come to Housing Hope with a history of substance use and we know that stable housing is the foundation these families need to continue their recovery. Housing Hope works with these families to access additional resources and partners closely with other local non-profits who specialize in chemical dependency and substance use recovery. We have an excellent partnership with local police departments and do everything we can to address any disruptive or illegal actions taking place at our developments.
How can I support the families who will live here?
Thank you! Support from the community is so helpful for our families as they get back on their feet. To volunteer your time, please email email@example.com. Or click here to contribute financially to building this development or providing supportive services.
How long can families live here?
These developments will be “Permanent Supportive Housing,” meaning that there is no formal limit on the time families can stay in the program. However, Housing Hope’s supportive services program is designed to help families stabilize and move on to other housing opportunities. The average length of stay in our housing program is two and a half years, and we would expect the families at this development to stay for approximately that length of time.
What will be the quality of the physical buildings?
Housing Hope designs beautiful, functional housing sites that fit in well with the surrounding neighborhood and that our residents are proud to call home. We also focus on environmental sustainability and provide the most energy-efficient environment possible.
Edmonds Lutheran Church Development FAQ
What size is this development?
The Edmonds Lutheran Church development will provide housing for 52 families in three stories.
Who will live there?
All 52 units will serve families with children. Half of the units will be dedicated to families coming directly from homelessness. The remaining half will be for families with low income who earn less than 50% of Area Median Income, which equates to $57,850 for a family of four.
Scriber Field Development FAQ
What size is this development?
The Scriber Field development will provide housing for 52 families. The building design and layout is still in the early stages of development.
Who will live there?
All 52 units will serve families with children who are enrolled in either Edmonds School District schools or other neighboring districts and meet the U.S. Department of Education/McKinney Vento definition of homelessness. This groundbreaking partnership will allow Housing Hope to serve “couch surfing” or “doubled-up” families for the first time.
What do “couch surfing” and “doubled-up” mean and why are these terms important?
Families who are couch surfing or doubled-up are staying with another family or friend out of economic necessity. Oftentimes these situations are overcrowded or unsafe, and frequently parents will split their children up between different households to avoid sleeping on the street or in their car. Because these children and their families are technically “sheltered,” they are not eligible for homeless housing funded by HUD.
This unstable housing has significant negative effects on student academic performance. A study by Schoolhouse Washington found that students who are doubled up or in motels/hotels have nearly identical academic outcomes to their unsheltered peers, which are well below their housed classmates. In recognition of this crisis, the Washington State Legislature took action in 2018 to authorize school districts to lease surplus land for the purpose of building affordable housing for students experiencing homelessness.
Because the School District retains ownership of the land and serving students experiencing homelessness is a condition of these lease, Snohomish County Human Services Department has agreed to grant Housing Hope an exception to the normal HUD processes and serve families who meet the U.S. Department of Education/McKinney Vento definition of homelessness, which includes “doubled up” families, rather than the HUD definition. This allows these families to access permanent, affordable housing for the first time. Housing Hope and Edmonds School District are breaking new ground to serve these families.
To the best of our knowledge, we are the first community in the state—possibly even the nation—to attempt to build affordable housing for homeless students on surplus school district property. We believe that once this model is proven successful, it can be replicated in other communities as an innovative solution to solving student homelessness.
What happens if a family’s children all graduate? Will families be allowed to stay even if they have no children enrolled in school?
Under the “Permanent Supportive Housing” program mentioned above, Housing Hope cannot force a family to move out of housing just because their children graduate. However, Housing Hope will work with families to transition out of our program so that other families can be served.
South County Board
Recreation Supervisor, Senior Center, City of Lynnwood
Executive Director, Foundation for Edmonds School District
Human Services Program Manager, City of Edmonds
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager, Homage
Executive Director, Washington Kids in Transition
Student and City of Edmonds Youth Commission