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When might there be more housing in Bellingham for the homeless, including veterans?

An architectural rendering of 22 North in Bellingham, which will provide 40 studio apartments for those who are homeless. The $10 million project is a partnership of nonprofits Northwest Youth Services and Opportunity Council.
An architectural rendering of 22 North in Bellingham, which will provide 40 studio apartments for those who are homeless. The $10 million project is a partnership of nonprofits Northwest Youth Services and Opportunity Council. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Construction will begin in mid-October on a $10 million project to build 40 studio apartments for homeless youths and adults, including veterans.

Called 22 North, it is expected to be completed in a year, allowing people to move in next fall. The building is going up at 1022 N. State St., next to Northwest Youth Services.

The project is a partnership of Bellingham nonprofits Opportunity Council and Northwest Youth Services.

Half of 22 North will be set aside for Northwest Youth Services clients ages 18 to 24 years old.

The remainder will be for Opportunity Council clients, adults who are chronically homeless. Of the studios, five will be reserved for veterans.

“While we would like to see an end to homelessness for everyone, we think it’s particularly important that we end veterans homelessness as soon as possible,” said Greg Winter, executive director for Opportunity Council.

The building will have around-the-clock staffing and security, community rooms and office space on the ground floor for Northwest Youth Services.

There will be services on the premises, including housing case management, vocational employment support, mental health and chemical dependency.

“There are some people who are homeless that have very complex needs and often don’t succeed well in other types of housing,” Winter said.

“This housing is staff-supported 24/7,” he added. “There are people on hand to help tenants with the needs they have to obtain a level of housing stability that we hope will be permanent. We hope, especially, that the young adults will not only gain stability but also find pathways out of poverty with the help of their case manager and the other services offered in 22 North.”

Public and private dollars are paying for the project.

The federal low income housing tax credit program is paying for most of the construction cost. Two other primary sources are housing dollars from the City of Bellingham, from federal housing funds as well as from the levy Bellingham voters approved in 2012 to help those in need get into affordable housing.

Dawson Construction is the general contractor and RMC is the architect.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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