Did you know that about 2,000 people in Snohomish County do not have a permanent place to live? And most of the homeless population struggles with mental illness.
The Everett Clinic Foundation awarded a grant to the Emergency Motel Voucher Program run by Compass Health, a nonprofit that provides mental health and chemical dependency services in Island, San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish counties.
The voucher program provides a safe and decent living environment for a week to a month. It gives Compass Health clients a safe place to stay off the streets while they work with the housing program and their clinicians to find affordable, safe, long-term housing options.
Evertrust Foundation, Muckleshoot Charitable Fund, and Union Bank Foundation also support the program.
“As we approach the winter months, support of this program becomes even more vital for community members in Snohomish County who are at the highest risk of homelessness. We could not run this program without these generous supporters – THANK YOU!” said Compass Health on its website.
Here are stories of Compass Health clients helped by the program (names have been changed):
John had recently found himself homeless and was battling multiple sclerosis. He was unable to stay at a shelter because the medications he needed had to be refrigerated and these needs could not be accommodated at nearby facilities. He stayed at a local motel for three weeks. During this time, John began services with Compass Health and was working weekly with a clinician to help him find more permanent housing once the motel voucher subsided. After his three weeks at the motel, John was able to obtain a room for rent in Lake Stevens and still works with his clinician during the week.
Molly was pregnant, living in a car with her boyfriend and experiencing mental health issues. Her boyfriend worked a full time job, but couldn't make ends meet. The family had been able to obtain a S+C housing voucher, but needed a suitable place to stay while they worked with landlords to find permanent housing. After an initial meeting, Compass Health set them up in a motel for three weeks to give them stability while they conducted their search. By the time check-out rolled around Molly and her boyfriend had found a residence they would finally be able to call home.
See compasshealth.org to learn more about the voucher program or to donate.