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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County providing recent refugees a temporary place to stay in Redmond as they prepare for resettlement

Summary

In collaboration with the state, the City of Redmond, and community partners, King County is establishing a temporary place to stay at one of the County’s previously purchased hotels to provide support for current and newly arrived refugees as they prepare for resettlement.

Story

To ensure continued support for refugees arriving in King County, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced plans to use the former Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond as a temporary place to stay. 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 (HTH) site on the Eastside by the end of the year.

The County purchased the Redmond hotel in July as part of the HTH 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.

Partnering with the Washington Department of Social and Health Services’ Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance, the City of Redmond, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and other community partners, King County will 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.

“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.”

“Redmond is an inclusive and welcoming city, and we embrace the opportunity to support refugees who will join our community,” said Redmond Mayor Angela Birney. “I commend King County for quickly leveraging available resources to provide safety and shelter for those in need.”

“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.”

"Being a welcoming community means dedicating resources and taking decisive policy actions to make sure people who arrive here have what they need to put down roots and contribute to the vibrant fabric of our communities. MAPS-AMEN looks forward to continuing our partnership with King County here in Redmond. We thank the County Executive for his leadership to ensure King County welcomes and supports refugees," said Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director, Muslim Association of Puget Sound - American Muslim Empowerment Network (MAPS-AMEN).

The use of the location as a temporary place to stay for refugees will not delay the HTH 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.

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.

 

Relevant links


Quotes

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. 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.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Redmond is an inclusive and welcoming city, and we embrace the opportunity to support refugees who will join our community. I commend King County for quickly leveraging available resources to provide safety and shelter for those in need.

Angela Birney, Redmond Mayor

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. 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.

Claudia Balducci, King County Council Chair

Being a welcoming community means dedicating resources and taking decisive policy actions to make sure people who arrive here have what they need to put down roots and contribute to the vibrant fabric of our communities. MAPS-AMEN looks forward to continuing our partnership with King County here in Redmond. We thank the County Executive for his leadership to ensure King County welcomes and supports refugees.

Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director, Muslim Association of Puget Sound - American Muslim Empowerment Network (MAPS-AMEN)

DSHS is proud to be able to partner with King County and the International Rescue Committee to offer temporary and transitional housing options to people seeking to rebuild their lives in our local communities. As the state agency that helps to coordinate refugee resettlement, DSHS recognizes that welcoming refugees is a collective effort, and has been grateful for the strong collaborations and partnerships needed to welcome over 3,000 Afghan arrivals through Operation Allies Welcome. By being able to provide immediate, temporary safe housing, our newest neighbors have more time to work with their resettlement agencies to find healthy, safe and affordable long-term homes. We look forward to continuing to work with King County and IRC to welcome our newest neighbors and provide them with an opportunity for a sustainable future.

Jilma Meneses, Secretary, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

For more information, contact:

Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography