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Pallet provides emergency shelter in Everett evacuation

December 20, 2023

After an emergency evacuation at a low-barrier permanent supportive housing site, Pallet was able to prevent resident displacement within 48 hours.

When thinking about emergency evacuations, it’s common that natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires first come to mind. But there are many other scenarios that can threaten the stability of a living situation and cause abrupt displacement, making the provision of emergency shelter solutions crucial in a moment’s notice.

Clare’s Place, a permanent supportive housing complex in Everett, WA, experienced exactly this kind of emergency in October.

When 48 of the 65 units in the building came back positive in tests for environmental contamination, all residents were forced to evacuate due to safety and health hazards. Clare’s Place is a low-barrier site that serves vulnerable community members including chronically homeless individuals, those diagnosed with mental illness, and people living with substance use disorder. Staff needed to identify an appropriate solution immediately to temporarily house the affected residents.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin promptly contacted Pallet’s Founder and CEO Amy King, looking to rapidly install shelter units to accommodate the residents evacuated from Clare’s Place. In order to serve the needs of those displaced, residents would need the ability to remain close to their possessions and case managers, so the units would ideally be built directly on the property.

Members of the Pallet Deployment team sprang into action. Working tirelessly overnight, they were assisted by Catholic Community Services (CCS, who operate Clare’s Place) and assembled 30 shelters in the parking lot. Snohomish County PUD also responded and supplied the site with power.

Within 48 hours of that initial call, shelters were deployed, assembled, and move-in ready as a safe and urgent solution to temporarily house residents of Clare’s Place. Because of Pallet’s stockpile of 64-square-foot sleeping shelters, the site was established with the urgency required for this emergency.

This unfolding of events speaks to the utility and efficacy of interim shelter as an emergency solution for displaced populations—particularly vulnerable communities that require hands-on supportive services. The capability to provide essential aid with urgency also points to the advantage of stockpiling this model of shelter. When residents living at the Clare’s Place site are able to move back into their apartments, the shelters will be stored as a supply for future emergencies in Everett.

To learn more about the instrumental role interim shelter can play in emergency situations, download our Post-Disaster Housing Continuum Infographic.

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