New CCS housing will serve chronically homeless veterans

  • Written by Amy Morris-Young
  • Published in Local
Representatives of Catholic Community Services and project partners gathered June 11 to break ground on the Filbert Road veterans housing project in Lynnwood. Pictured from left are: Justin Stewart, Synergy Construction; Rob Van Tassell, Catholic Housing Services; Mike Schanche, staffer for local Congressman Rick Larsen; Vicki Howell, CCS Snohomish County housing developer; Mary Jane Brell-Vujovic, Snohomish County Human Services director; Jerry Gadek (face hidden), Snohomish County Human Services; and Chris Jowell, Catholic Housing Services. Photo: Courtesy Catholic Community Services Representatives of Catholic Community Services and project partners gathered June 11 to break ground on the Filbert Road veterans housing project in Lynnwood. Pictured from left are: Justin Stewart, Synergy Construction; Rob Van Tassell, Catholic Housing Services; Mike Schanche, staffer for local Congressman Rick Larsen; Vicki Howell, CCS Snohomish County housing developer; Mary Jane Brell-Vujovic, Snohomish County Human Services director; Jerry Gadek (face hidden), Snohomish County Human Services; and Chris Jowell, Catholic Housing Services.

LYNNWOOD – Catholic Community Services and Snohomish County are joining forces to provide supported housing to chronically homeless veterans.

CCS broke ground June 11 on the $4.1 million, 20-unit Filbert Road housing project in the Alderwood Manor area of Lynnwood.

“The goal is to provide individualized case management, to work with veterans toward housing stability,” said Vicki Howell, housing developer for Catholic Community Services’ Snohomish County Family Center in Everett. On-site services provided through CCS will include chemical dependency treatment, counseling, skills development, job training and career placement, she said.

CCS anticipates an increasing need for such housing in Snohomish County, home to Naval Station Everett, which has about 6,000 sailors and civil service workers, Howell said. “The veteran population density in Snohomish County is 25 percent higher than that of neighboring King County,” she said. And the state Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 1,000 newly discharged veterans will make Snohomish County their home each year, she said. 

Because of their military experiences, “veterans have a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma,” Howell said. Chronically homeless veterans often have mental health and substance abuse issues as well, she added.

Catholic Community Services’ Filbert Road veterans housing project will provide 20 one-bedroom apartments and support services to chronically homeless veterans. The project is expected to be completed in early 2016. Photo: Courtesy Catholic Community Services

The project has been four years in the making. In 2011, CCS invited community housing providers, social service agencies and local government to form a committee to address the critical issue of veterans’ homelessness, Howell said. The Filbert Road development is the first project resulting from this teamwork.

CCS secured the funding — $1.5 million from the state Housing Trust Fund and $2.6 million from Snohomish County Human Services — and purchased the surplus land from Snohomish County, Howell said.

The project will have three residential buildings, including one with two apartments accessible to veterans with physical disabilities. A community building will house a common laundry and kitchen for residents, and offices for on-site social services providers.

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County will provide vouchers to cover general operating expenses and help subsidize rents, Howell said. Veterans will pay just 30 percent of their income or less for rent, she added.

Construction, set to begin in July, should be complete in eight months. CCS will work with federal, state and county “coordinated entry” systems to establish eligibility and identify veterans most in need, Howell said.