WECU Partners with Lighthouse Mission on Construction of New 300-Bed Facility in Bellingham

WECU has announced its partnership with the Lighthouse Mission in their construction of a new 300-bed facility in Bellingham located at 910 W. Holly Street. The project began with demolishing the previous structure in early 2023 and is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete.

Recognizing the critical need for additional resources to support the homeless population in our community, the Lighthouse Mission embarked on this ambitious project after diligent fundraising efforts. However, faced with a funding shortfall, they sought a reputable partner to help bridge the gap.

“WECU was eager to support the Lighthouse Mission’s mission of providing hope for the homeless in our community,” said Kent Bouma, VP of Business Banking at WECU. “We provided a loan with competitive terms and structured it to be flexible, allowing them to pay it down without penalty.”

The decision to partner with WECU was influenced also by the desire to collaborate with a local institution known for its exceptional service and responsiveness. The WECU team engaged with the Lighthouse Mission multiple times in person, offering tailored solutions and support throughout the process.

“Especially in construction projects, challenges inevitably arise. Having a local partner like WECU who can think rationally and work collaboratively towards solutions has been invaluable,” remarked Hans Erchinger-Davis, Executive Director at the Lighthouse Mission.

The new facility will replace a 50-year-old building and will feature a five-story homeless shelter with a capacity for three hundred individuals, expandable to 400 during severe weather conditions. The facility will include a low-barrier shelter, specialized accommodations for individuals with medical or behavioral health needs, and additional emergency beds.

“We are proud to be a part of the Lighthouse Mission’s story and the important work they will continue to do for our community,” added Bouma.

WECU also worked with Lighthouse Mission Ministries to facilitate a $1 million grant for the new facility through the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines. Being an FHLB member allowed WECU to aid in the grant application process. This grant, along with recent increases in affordable housing loan caps and funding for down payment assistance programs, is a part of FHLB’s commitment to community development and affordable housing initiatives.

For more information about the Lighthouse Mission and its new facility, visit lighthousebuilds.org.

About WECU

WECU, originally established in 1936 as Bellingham Teachers Credit Union, is a thriving credit union headquartered in Bellingham, Washington. With a rich history and commitment to the community, WECU extends its financial services to individuals and businesses across the entire state of Washington. Boasting a dedicated team of over 400 local professionals, WECU takes pride in serving a vast membership base exceeding 150,000 individuals. The credit union’s robust financial standing is reflected in its assets, surpassing $2.5 billion.

Posted in Top Headlines, Washington.