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A Way Forward – Homeless Prevention Services

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Sound Pathways ESTEEM Closure Announcement

At Sound Pathways, this new year brings a renewed commitment to the people we serve every day and to the community we have served for more than 50 years.

Sometimes, finding the best way to support our clients means reconfiguring the services we provide. After careful evaluation and with guidance from the Sound Pathways Board of Directors, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to permanently close the ESTEEM Shelter for Women and Children on January 31, 2023…

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Emergency Shelter to Empower and Educate Mothers (ESTEEM) Shelter

The Emergency Shelter to Empower and Educate Mothers (ESTEEM) is not your typical emergency shelter. This shelter’s innovative, evidence-based program is founded on research conducted at the University of Washington by Therese Grant, Ph.D. Her research focuses on barriers to care for chemically-dependent pregnant and parenting mothers throughout every phase of treatment.

The ESTEEM Shelter model used this research to establish best practices and incorporate the emergency housing component. The model also draws on the expertise of national evidence-based practices from SAMHSA.

The result? A tailored, case-management anchored program with proven outcomes. Sound Pathways provides clients with emergency shelter and then helps them build long-term stability through a proven treatment program during their stay. Sound Pathways partners with treatment agencies, while working one-on-one with clients to provide peer-to-peer groups, continued Intensive Case Management, and ongoing support through any relapses.

Additional support includes parenting skills groups, positive support groups, budgeting classes, community meetings, and mentorships.

Ultimately, Sound Pathways hopes that every ESTEEM client will maintain their sobriety and continue to build on the positive habits learned in treatment to ensure a safe, stable, and healthy family environment for all.

This Program Serves:

Chemically-dependent, homeless expectant or parenting mothers in recovery and their children.

Clients must be clean and sober to stay at the shelter.

ESTEEM Shelter Program Goals

● Establish permanent housing for clients and their families.
● Assist with parenting, life skills, and support with job placement strategies.

● Connect clients to basic needs programs: SNAP food stamp benefits, transportation, childcare, and health insurance coverage.

After working with a Sound Pathways Case Manager:


Clients have completed an alcohol/drug treatment program.


Clients have achieved at least one sustained (6-months or more) period of abstinence from drugs/alcohol.


Mothers are using family planning methods on a regular basis.


Children are living with their own families.


Mothers have attended or completed classes: GED, college, or work training.

…Our clients who are currently living at the shelter will be given the support they need to find new transitional housing as they await longer term placement.

We are incredibly proud of the impact the shelter has had in the community. Over the past three years, our 90-day shelter has provided housing support to 54 parenting mothers and their families.

However, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent funding sources for the shelter have become scarce and costs for maintaining the facility have continued to rise. It has been an ongoing challenge to simply keep the shelter doors open.

We know housing is a critical issue in Snohomish County, and we will continue to assist our clients with housing support. Sound Pathways offers two case management programs through the Parent Child Assistance Program (PCAP) and Amerigroup Supportive Housing that directly support housing insecurities. People can apply for these programs by visiting

Additionally, as our shelter closes we will strengthen our partner relationships with emergency shelters and other longer-term housing programs. If you, or someone you know, need immediate shelter support, please call 2-1-1, text 211WAOD to 898211, or visit

Our work to support, and create equitable opportunities for, at-risk families and individuals facing alcohol and substance use disorders in Snohomish County continues to forge ahead. In 2023, Sound Pathways will continue to reinforce our existing services and focus on three main objectives:

Cross training staff so that they can seamlessly assist our clients across multiple programs.

Ensuring clients connect with outside resources by offering rides to appointments and more thorough follow through, when appropriate.

Partnering with healthcare providers to bring them to clients wherever they may be living.

We are so very grateful for everyone who has supported the ESTEEM program through financial and in-kind donations. The past three years would not have been possible without your generosity.

Thank you for walking with me, our staff, our Board, and our community partners as we continue to steadfastly support our clients on their path to recovery.

Shannon Smith
Interim Executive Director