Everett Faith in Action and Interfaith Community Shelter are partnering in order to launch a new, 90-day transitional program for families experiencing homeless in SnoCo, called Cars to Housing.
With the rise of homelessness occurring within Snohomish County, up 58% since 2018 according to their numbers, and emergency shelters at capacity or even above, more and more families are opting to live out of their vehicles. Many have tapped into the familial or community resources that they can, and have reached this option as a last resort, while waiting for resources to open up.
While there are some resources, there is still most certainly a gap that needs to be addressed; this is one that allows for families who are experiencing housing instability to secure housing in a structured and supported manner.
The City of Everett has awarded their collaborative with $25k in order to launch the pilot program, which is based off of others with similar models, resulting in a evidenced-based model that shows these efforts help.
How does it work? Will it make my community less safe?
Based upon other safe parking lot models, evidence points to higher safety in neighborhoods; families are invested in their safety and that of their children, and have a much higher likelihood of reporting unsafe activities, like drug use or fires. Creating a safe space is a communal effort within the lots.
Furthermore, giving families somewhere safe to sleep, Interfatih Community points out, means less parking street in random areas or neighborhoods, which is noted to impact property values, goes away or is reduced by the program.
How will the safety of these lots be enforced?
Local law enforcement has already been contacted regarding developing best practices and are abreast of the goings-on.
It also means that some of the personal nature of living in a vehicle, like finding sufficient toilets to use where you’re welcome to, is also obviated. The sites which allow for safe parking will also have portapotties available for said families.
Learn more about it, and how it may help you or someone you know here.
The EP has reached out to Interfaith for comment, and is awaiting response. Check back for updates.