Tim and Marcia McEvoy of Bellingham, owners of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, announced today they will be donating that property in December to Lighthouse Mission Ministries of Bellingham.
Lighthouse Mission Ministries will evaluate the best use and value of the two parcels, according to Hans Erchinger-Davis, its president and CEO. The 2022 assessed valuation of the properties at 2579 W. Shore Drive and 2560 W. Shore Drive is a combined total of $2.04 million.
“Tim and Marcia’s gift is grace itself,” Erchinger-Davis said. “We’re already turning people away due to capacity constraints, and support like this will give those on our streets a fighting chance to get their lives back. It’s a game-changer for our community.”
Lighthouse Mission Ministries is currently in the midst of a $25-million project to remodel and redevelop its campus in Bellingham’s Old Town, including a new facility to replace the building at 910 W. Holly St. Demolition of the current building is expected in January or February, followed by the start of construction in the spring of 2023. For more information about the project, visit https://www.lighthousebuilds.org/.
Lighthouse Mission Ministries has been helping people who are homeless since 1923. It cares for up to 310 people each day and provides a continuum of services aimed at ending homelessness through street outreach, enhanced shelters, addiction recovery, spiritual support, and aftercare.
“We’ve been grateful for wonderful support so far through the generosity of major donors and organizations,” said Hans Erchinger-Davis, president and CEO of Lighthouse Mission Ministries. “We still need more help to fund construction that will save and transform lives of many who currently are homeless in our community, so proceeds from this generous donation by Tim and Marcia McEvoy would go a long way in helping us reach our goal.”
“We know that together, we can rise to the occasion, and be there during people’s darkest moments,” Erchinger-Davis continued. “Together we can fight for them, so they can have a flourishing life.”
Tim and Marcia McEvoy, supporters of Lighthouse Mission Ministries since 1999, said they are continually amazed by how much the nonprofit organization does for people who are homeless.
“We wholeheartedly support Lighthouse Mission Ministries and its work in our community,” Tim McEvoy said.
The Willows Inn is a nationally acclaimed restaurant with overnight accommodations for 16 guests (eight on-site rooms with capacity for two people each). Its regular winter hiatus began earlier in November. Erchinger-Davis said it’s too early to know if a potential new owner would want to operate the restaurant and hotel rooms in a similar manner or do something different.
The new Lighthouse Mission Ministries facility, which will be on its property on 910 W. Holly St., will replace the 24-hour Base Camp homeless service center on 1530 Cornwall Ave. It will include micro-shelters for families, working guests, elderly and/or medically fragile guests, and guests requiring mental health care.
These micro-shelters will increase the Lighthouse Mission’s low-barrier shelter capacity by 100 people. The number of low-barrier shelter beds available overnight will go from 200 beds to 300 beds, with additional overflow capacity of 100 during severe weather, increasing low-barrier shelter capacity to 400 in total for the new building.
“The facility will offer vital services to people experiencing homelessness,” Erchinger-Davis said. “A medical clinic in the new facility will include three exam rooms to provide better care for the health of our guests. Our temporary Base Camp facility has just one exam room due to limited space.”
Erchinger-Davis added that the new building will be five stories tall with 15,000 square feet per floor. It will include meeting rooms for community agencies to come meet with guests and connect them to the services they need.
The new facility will also include a chapel in order to continue to provide voluntary pastoral counseling, Bible studies, and worship services for guests who would like to participate. The Lighthouse Mission is the only overnight, low-barrier homeless service center north of Everett. Lighthouse Mission Ministries maintains its identity as a Christian organization with its mission of healing homelessness with Christ’s power and love.
Three entrepreneurial suites located on the first floor will host three small businesses. The businesses will be open to the public and will create employment opportunities for graduates from Lighthouse Mission’s recovery programs.
Lighthouse Mission Ministries has been helping people who are homeless since 1923. It cares for up to 310 people each day and provides a continuum of services aimed at ending homelessness through street outreach, enhanced shelters, addiction recovery, spiritual support, and aftercare. To make a donation or volunteer, call (360) 733-5120, or visit www.thelighthousemission.org.