Maple Court, Enhanced Shelter, Now Open in Lacey

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) celebrated the opening of Maple Court on July 5. Governor Jay Inslee and the Lacey City Council participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The former Days Inn has been converted into an enhanced shelter to serve up to 125 people experiencing homelessness in Thurston County. This is the first hotel purchased as an enhanced shelter in Thurston County. This will serve people living on state property along rights-of-way. Funding for the purchase of the Days Inn comes from the state’s Right of Way Safety Initiative partnership of the state departments of Commerce and Transportation and the Washington State Patrol, initiated by Gov. Inslee, and funded by the state Legislature.

“The math is simple – there are more people living unsheltered than there are beds to offer them indoors. The opening of Maple Court today is a significant step forward for the community of Lacey and Thurston County, but we need to do more. These housing units will allow people to move out of encampments on our state rights of way immediately and will continue to serve many more people experiencing homelessness here over many years to come. I applaud LIHI and all of the state and local partners for their continued cooperation in addressing this complex and often daunting work,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Every person deserves the dignity of housing and having their basic needs met. I’m proud of the work this unprecedented state partnership has accomplished and continues to do in moving people from state right-of-way encampments indoors as quickly as possible. LIHI’s Maple Court project is another tremendous example of creativity and collaboration from the dedicated team of service providers Commerce has contracted with for this challenging initiative,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong.

“As our agency knows well, it takes many partners working together to address the challenges of homelessness, including the overarching need for more housing,” said WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “Maple Court is another great example of those partnerships and the hard work needed to help people break the transition from highway rights of way to more safe and stable housing and bettering the lives of those living homeless and those who live and work in proximity to encampments.”

“We applaud the City of Lacey, Thurston County, and Governor Inslee’s foresight and compassion to help our unhoused neighbors. With the purchase of this building, we have the opportunity to provide people living by I-5 and other state rights-of-way with a pathway to permanent housing, employment, and a better life,” said LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee.

The hotel has spacious hotel rooms, generously sized common spaces, and room for case management and services. Each unit has a refrigerator, microwave, TV, WiFi, closet, private bath, and A/C. The building has sprinklers, an elevator, a laundry room, security cameras, and parking.

LIHI staff will be on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The on-site case managers will help residents with housing and employment applications, healthcare, transportation, counseling, and help re-connecting with family or friends. Staff will assist people in obtaining their identification cards, getting income support, and addressing other service needs.

The Low Income Housing Institute is a nonprofit housing organization committed to providing affordable housing for families and individuals in need. LIHI has a portfolio of over 3,400 affordable apartments, including two properties in Lacey and six total in Thurston County. LIHI also operates 18 tiny house villages and two Urban Rest Stop hygiene centers.