City Council supports recommendations for Vancouver’s third Safe Stay Community
On November 7, City Council voted 5-2 in favor of supporting staff recommendations calling for the City’s third supportive Safe Stay Community for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness—to be located at 415 W. 11th Street. The approval follows a community engagement and input period of six weeks. Community feedback has helped shape potential next steps relating to:
- Site design: Including parking, lighting and fencing options
- Accessibility: Minimizing sidewalk closures and impacts on those who walk, bike or use a mobility device near the Safe Stay Community
- Public Safety: Informing the work of the City’s Homeless Assistance and Resources Team (HART) and Vancouver Police Department
- Communication: Helping inform materials presented during community information sessions and resources that will soon be shared with neighbors
Following the development of a site plan and the approval of relevant permits, construction is expected to begin in December. The site is expected to open in January 2023. HART and the Vancouver Police Department will enforce the City’s ban on camping within 1,000 feet of Safe Stay Community sites once site preparation begins.
The City will mail a resource guide to neighbors with relevant links and contact information for HART and the nonprofit site operator, Outsiders Inn. The City will also email the guide to neighborhood leaders and post copies on Nextdoor and Be Heard Vancouver.
All Safe Stay Communities are home to 20 temporary modular structures which will offer up to 40 residents safer and more stabilizing shelter as they work to transition out of homelessness. The temporary communities will improve community health, safety and cleanliness for both housed and unhoused community members by:
- Offering residents greater access to services, increased stability, and safe, healthy, and humane living conditions to transition out of homelessness
- Reducing garbage, trash and clutter in public spaces
- Relocating residents who are currently living in tents or vehicles. As part of the opening, the City will work with local nonprofits and the City’s Homelessness Assistance and Resources Team to relocate unhoused residents, prioritizing those living in camps in the downtown area, to this site
- Prohibiting camping within 1,000 feet of the site
This location will be the third of several supportive sites the City is establishing as part of its Homelessness Response Plan. The Safe Stay Community will be managed by the nonprofit Outsiders Inn, current manager of the City’s first Safe Stay Community that opened in December 2021. Since opening, this community has successfully placed 25 people in housing, provided other residents with referrals for permanent housing, job placement support, and access to critical health and treatment services necessary to exit homelessness. The City’s second Safe Stay location opened in April.
The Safe Stay Community program is supported by the Affordable Housing Fund. In March, Vancouver City Council adopted a resolution approving the City’s 2022 Affordable Housing Fund recommendations, which includes $1,007,900 to support necessary site preparation and the purchase of the modular shelter units. Site preparation includes installation of electrical utilities at the site and electrical hook-ups to each shelter unit, installation of fencing, gates, parking and all necessary permits and fees. View the site plan.