King County Executive Dow Constantine announced plans to use the former Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond as a temporary place to stay for refugees in the region.
The County purchased the Redmond hotel in July as part of the Health Through Housing initiative to house people experiencing, or at risk of chronic homelessness in King County. The Redmond building will be repurposed for future and current refugees to stay in as they prepare for resettlement. The Federal Way building previously used for refugee housing will now begin preparations to open as a HTH property, as planned.
This is a short-term program for individuals and families coming to our region as King County continues to move ahead with the planned implementation process for the first Health Through Housing site on the Eastside by the end of the year.
“No matter the storm abroad, King County will always be a safe harbor. We welcome all who arrive from other nations, and we stand ready to support them as they make a new start here in the United States,” said executive Constantine. “I am pleased that we can collaborate with so many local leaders and partners to ensure individuals and families have what they need as they prepare to make a new home in our region.”
King County is partnering with the Washington Department of Social and Health Services’ Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance, the City of Redmond, the International Rescue Committee, and other community partners, to begin to accept referrals and welcome guests at the Redmond building beginning the first week of May and continue to do so through September 2022.
According to the county, the use of the location as a temporary place to stay for refugees will not delay the Health Through Housing implementation plans in Redmond. The process to transform the site into permanent supportive housing for those experiencing, or at risk of chronic homelessness continues.
Currently, a procurement process to identify an operator is being planned. The building is expected to open as permanent supportive housing by the end of the year.
“During COVID, our government learned quickly how to be very nimble to adapt to grave needs and rapidly changing circumstances. Today we are putting those skills to use again by finding a way to use our Redmond Health through Housing site in service of a great cause,” said King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci. “While we prepare to open permanent supportive housing soon, I can’t think of a better temporary use for this former hotel than to house newly arriving refugees seeking safety. I know our community will welcome them with open arms and do everything we can to help these new neighbors recover from the trauma of war and rebuild their lives here in King County.”
In addition to accepting new referrals, the Redmond site will also welcome Afghan refugees who arrived earlier this year at the county’s HTH site in Federal Way – the former Extended Stay America, which was also purchased in July. Since October 2021, the Federal Way location has welcomed more than 450 refugees. In partnership with IRC, most of these individuals have been relocated to permanent housing.
Once this transition is complete, the county will begin building construction in May for HTH preoccupancy as planned. The Federal Way site is forecasted to welcome residents in the fall.