FILE – Homeless camp

Mark Bannister plays with his dog, Amelia, where he lives in a camp for people experiencing homelessness along the American River Parkway in Sacramento, Calif., on Feb. 24, 2022. Bannister said many people lacking housing do not want to go to shelters in Sacramento because pets are not allowed. For years, liberal cities in the U.S have tolerated people living in tents in parks and public spaces, but increasingly leaders in places like Portland, Oregon, New York, Seattle and other cities are removing encampments and pushing other strict measures that would've been unheard of a few years ago. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(The Center Square) – Snohomish County is partnering with nine cities to spend $9.6 million on 11 projects for shelter and behavioral health services.

The county’s Shelter and Behavioral Health Partnership Program has matched federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars for city-led projects up to $250,000 per project. Cities were eligible to receive funding for up to two projects.

All told, Snohomish County plans to have spent $2.3 million of its ARPA dollars on shelter and behavioral health efforts, with jurisdiction matches resulting in $7.3 million in additional spending. County and city contributions together should add up to $9.6 million.

“By working in partnership with cities and community organizations, we can stretch our dollars and provide more needed services to more vulnerable people, making our communities safer for all,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said in a statement.

The working plan was to create shelter units for 36 homeless persons; rent and rehousing assistance to help at least 130 persons stay in their homes or find new housing; and Increased behavioral health services, including social worker involvement in emergency responses, navigation services for people interacting with the criminal legal system, case managers for unhoused residents, wraparound services for disadvantaged students and in-school mental health clinicians and social workers, according to the county.

The cities that county is partnering with include: Edmonds, Everett, Lynwood, Marysville, Bothell, Monroe, Sultan, Mukilteo and the City of Snohomish.

The highest contribution the county made to one project was $500,000 in ARPA funds to the Marysville Emergency Shelter Home. The City of Marysville is purchasing two multi-family housing units designed to provide transitional shelter to homeless persons and families. The county expects each unit to serve eight persons – totaling 16 individuals across both units with access to services.

“These investments in sheltering will help address the significant barriers many in our community are facing to find housing. Specifically, the MESH program in Marysville focuses on a transition for addiction recovery patients into a productive lifestyle after treatment,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring.

The city with the the most spending on housing and behavioral health programs is the City of Edmonds, which funded $3 million to a Household Support Grant Program. That program addresses financial hardship caused by the pandemic by providing direct financial assistance to households earning up to 60% of the area median income. The county is funding $250,000 to the program through the partnership.

"I'm proud of our ARPA-funded Housing Support Grant Program . . . which is making a real difference for households and individuals who have faced particular financial hardship since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic," Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson said.

Staff Reporter

Spencer Pauley reports on Seattle and the King County area of Washington. He was previously an independent filmmaker and worked on "The Clinton Affair," a documentary series investigating the impeachment proceedings of former President Bill Clinton.