Fresh Start Housing LLC, a rehabilitation program that manages and operates drug-free and transitional housing, recently purchased the old Nisqually Valley Care Center with intentions of opening a new facility in September.
Located along the Nisqually River, the facility will include approximately 140 beds, Fresh Start co-owner Timothy Timmer said.
“Primarily, everyone that we’ll serve is someone who’s had issues with alcohol and drugs,” he said, adding later that “it’s a first real step to making sure they’re coming into a permanent housing solution, and that’s what we pride ourselves on.”
The Olympia-based LLC, founded in 2012, purchased the building and property on May 28 for $950,000, according to Pierce County Auditor records.
Back in 2018, Nisqually Valley Care Center originally was closed down by Sound Care due to mounting costs.
Since the purchase, Fresh Start Housing has been busy renovating the facility to better suit their clientele. The 24,000-square-foot building, located at 9414 357th Street, was constructed in 1930 and has been used mostly for long-term care during its existence.
With this purchase, Fresh Start Housing, which currently serves 165 individuals in five counties and on seven properties, will be doubling the number of people they serve.
While he admits he’s received some pushback from nearby residents, Timmer said his team is committed to making a big dent in homelessness with this new project.
“It’s got a lot of history in it and we want to do right by it and make the community proud,” he said of the facility.
Residents who stay in Fresh Start Housing facilities are required under house rules to meet curfew, stay on the premises at most times and strictly avoid alcohol and drugs. Breaking certain rules can result in eviction.
There’s no maximum stay for individuals, but people usually stay about three to four months. Most residents pay about $500 during their first three months through the transitional housing program, according to the LLC’s rules.
“I will say that some individuals are just more comfortable there, but we just try to respect their decision. Progress comes slowly for some folks,” Timmer said.
Timmer said their success in rehabilitating people comes from constant communication and supervision.
Many of the people Fresh Start serves have faced worsening circumstances through their addiction, such as having poor credit or no job, which more often than not leads to homelessness.
“We find the best model is with supervision. You have to be there, you have to supervise. That’s the best success,” he said. “That constant communication is what we’re known for.”
Timmer invites any inquiries into the program, and notes that he hopes when people ask questions that they come forward with an open mind and willingness to understand the mission of the LLC..