PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles motel would be converted into a low-income mental health housing complex under a Peninsula Behavioral Health proposal with possible support from Clallam County commissioners.
The three commissioners will consider today a letter of support for PBH’s proposed $2.7 million purchase and renovation of the 27-unit All View Motel near the corner of Lincoln Street and Lauridsen Boulevard.
Rooms would be reserved for veterans, seniors and others who suffer from a chronic mental illness. The facility would add much-needed capacity for permanent, supportive and transitional housing, county and PBH officials said.
“This is really a remarkable opportunity,” said Commissioner Mark Ozias, board chairman, in a Monday work session.
“When you look at the total cost of the project versus the number of units that we expect to get, this costs out remarkably well and would be a huge benefit to our community, at least in my perspective.”
The proposed letter of support commits $675,000 in local funds to help PBH cover startup costs for the project at 214 E. Lauridsen Boulevard.
PBH will apply for reimbursement through the state Department of Commerce’s Housing Trust Fund.
Rebekah Miller, PBH development director, said the agency hoped to include the commissioners’ letter of support in an application for the Commerce grant. The grant application is due by noon Thursday, she said.
“Without getting overly optimistic, we’re pretty sure we’re going to get these funds,” Miller told Commissioners Ozias and Bill Peach.
“We have already received two Department of Commerce awards in the past, one to do our children’s center and one to do the Clallam County respite center.”
Commissioner Randy Johnson, whose central-county district includes Port Angeles, was excused from the work session.
“This is a very exciting project, one that I know that Commissioner Johnson has, on behalf of the commissioners, been really working closely with the group to try and advance this,” Ozias said.
“It’s a unique opportunity.”
“We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we’ll get good news on the (grant) award,” Ozias added.
“Then we’ll need to be prepared at that point to work with our finance team and other partners to make sure that we’ve got the cash-flow logistics worked out to advance the project.”
The 14,000-square-foot motel was built in 1937, according to county Assessor’s Office records. The appraised value of the property and U-shaped motel was $1.05 million in 2020.
About half of the total project cost would be for the purchase the property, Miller said. It would take about 90 days to renovate the rooms, she said.
PBH would staff the facility 24 hours per day, seven days per week, Miller said. Certain units would be reserved for veterans, seniors and West End residents.
“There will be no alcohol or drugs allowed,” Miller said.
PBH owns the Arlene Engel Home, a 19-bed assisted living facility for behavioral health clients near the corner of Second and Oak streets in Port Angeles, and it operates three transitional supportive living houses.
“I will say the neighbors around these houses, they love us, they really, really do,” Miller said.
“‘They sometimes will call us and say, ‘Hey, Johnny doesn’t look really good. It he OK?’ We make really good neighbors.”
PBH has been providing mental health services and low-income supportive housing in the Port Angeles area since 1971, according to the proposed letter.
The PBH project is being supported by the city of Port Angeles, Habitat for Humanity, Serenity House of Clallam County, North Olympic Regional Veterans Housing Network and Healthy Families of Clallam County, the letter states.
“Please consider this letter as affirmation that Clallam County will provide funding at the level of $25,000 per unit (totaling $675,000) for this project as well as being both able and willing to help finance the cost of the remodel in order to allow for the reimbursement process required of Housing Trust Fund dollars,” the letter says.
“The difference this project will make in our community is almost impossible to adequately communicate.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].