PORT ANGELES — Peninsula Behavioral Health has received more than 70 applications from people seeking residence at the soon-to-opened Dawn View Court supportive treatment and housing facility in Port Angeles.
In an effort to ease the transition into the new housing facility, which is on the site of the former All View Motel at 214 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Peninsula Behavioral Health (PBH) has hired a housing manager to score the applications based on criteria of mental illness, substance use and abuse, homelessness,and treatment activity, according to CEO Wendy Sisk.
“We hired a housing manager, separate from our clinical team, Andrew Reiners, and he has gone through and created a scoring rubric, Sisk said.
Residents are required to be in an active treatment program either through PBH or a partner program, she told the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday.
The first residents to move into Dawn View Court will be people from PBH’s other treatment houses to free up the space, Sisk said.
“This will be in part to help us figure out what are the challenges of moving large groups of folks in because we will likely fill those apartments over four to six weeks,” she said.
A formal ribbon cutting ceremony is set at 5 p.m. April 13, with the first moving day on April 17.
PBH bought the site in 2021 with funds from both Clallam County and the City of Port Angeles American Rescue Plan Act along with federal grant monies.
PBH converted the former motel into 26 units of low- to very-low-income housing for people with serious mental health illnesses, substance abuse disorders and who are experiencing homelessness.
Sixteen units have been converted into studio apartments, five into one-bedroom apartments, and another five into two-bedroom apartments.
“The biggest pushback we got from this project was that it is right across the street from a school,” Sisk said.
”Kids have mental health concerns too, their parents have mental health concerns, so we anticipate that those two-bedroom units will go to families,” she added.
One of the two-bedroom units and one of the studio apartments are designated as ADA-accessible.
Four units also have been set aside as transitional housing for people participating in the new mental health treatment court. The stay in those units is for up to two years, while the remaining housing units are available as long as the residents continue their treatment programs and meet other enrollment criteria.
Rent, which also will cover utilities and Internet, will range from $415 for studios to $532 per month for two-bedroom units, with income criteria being at or below 30 percent of area median income (AMI), which is less than $14,000 per year for a single adult.
One unit is set aside for veterans whose income may exceed that AMI cap.
“We are trying to remove barriers and make sure people have access to the things that they need to succeed,” Sisk said.
Sisk anticipates that many of the people who move into these units eventually will be over the income cap once they can get back to work.
During this transitional period, however, staff from PBH will be on-site to help people re-learn how to be in housing.
“If you have been homeless for years, you have spent your entire time just trying to get your needs met,” Sisk said.
”You spend all of your time and energy making sure that you are safe, making sure that you are warm enough and dry enough, and making sure that you have something to eat and it takes a lot of time,” she continued.
”It takes some time to learn how to spend some leisure time and to work towards getting employment, being a good neighbor and tenant,” Sisk said.
Residents will be expected to take care of their units. Regular inspections will occur.
Sisk anticipates significant movement in and out of the units in the first six months.
“Part of the rental agreement is people have to be willing to let us come in,” she said.
PBH has also started a fundraiser with a goal of $17,500, to help purchase furniture selected by the Dawn View Court residents. To donate, go to peninsulabehavioral.org, go to Upcoming Events and scroll ot the bottom of the page to click on Sponsor-An-Apartment Now.
Reporter Ken Park can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org