Refugees will be housed in a hotel in Redmond, owned by King County

The Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond was purchased in July 2021 by the county to support its permanent supportive housing initiative.

REDMOND, Wash. – As western Washington braces for an influx of refugees from Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion, King County plans to use the Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond as temporary housing for those fleeing to the United States.

The hotel, purchased in July 2021, is part of the county’s Health Through Housing initiative, which seeks to purchase hotels and apartment buildings to quickly create supportive housing for chronically homeless people across the region.

However, just as he did with a Federal Way property for Afghan refugees, the Dow Constantine executive announced Thursday that he and his office are rotating the property to temporarily serve fleeing refugees while they prepare to resettle in the Pacific Northwest.

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The property will be managed in partnership with the state’s Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance, the City of Redmond, the International Rescue Committee and other partners.

The hotel will be open to refugees through a referral process beginning the first week of May, the county said in a statement, adding that it plans to continue housing refugees on the property through September 2022. .

“No matter the storm overseas, King County will always be a safe harbor. We welcome anyone arriving from other countries and stand ready to support them as they make a fresh start here in the United States. said Constantine.

The county said using the property for refugees would not delay the implementation of housing health plans. The hotel will reopen as permanent supportive housing by the end of the year, according to the county.

On Thursday, around 15,000 refugees arrived in the United States since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

Seattle resettlement agencies have also appealed for more volunteers to open their homes to refugees while waiting for permanent housing placement.

Meanwhile, US officials say the majority of the roughly 5 million refugees who have already fled the country want to stay in Eastern Europe.

On Thursday morning, ahead of a planned trip to Portland and Seattle, President Joe Biden announced $800 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, which continues to put up fierce resistance to militarily superior Russian forces.

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Sandy A. Greer