Homelessness Response Plan

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Addressing the growing impacts of homelessness is a top priority at the City of Vancouver.

While Clark County remains the lead agency in addressing the systemic issue of homelessness in the region, the City has implemented a plan to address its immediate impacts to community health, cleanliness, and safety, including:

  • Garbage, trash and clutter in public spaces
  • Residents living in tents/vehicles in public rights-of-way
  • Livability concerns for the unhoused, including the removal of barriers to accessing services

What is the City Doing Now?

We estimate that more than 500 people are currently living in tents or vehicles in Vancouver. Below is a snapshot of the City’s current efforts to mitigate the safety, cleanliness and health impacts of homelessness.

Current Strategy

About

HARTThe City’s Homeless Assistance & Resources Team (HART) provides outreach and referrals to appropriate services for individuals experiencing homelessness, conducts assessments of encampments for cleanup and sanitation needs and coordinates cleanup efforts. Learn more.
Safe Stay Communities

Since Dec. 2021, the City has opened four supportive Safe Stay Communities. All Safe Stay Communities provide individuals living unsheltered within the city with warm, dry and secure surroundings where they have access to high-quality, compassionate, life-saving supportive services while they work to transition out of homelessness. Learn more.

Safe Stay features:

  • 20 modular Pallet shelters housing up to 40 people
  • Fenced and staffed 24/7 by a nonprofit operator
  • Trash receptacles, sanitation services, portable toilets and handwashing stations
  • Shower and restroom facilities
  • Meeting and office spaces and access to supportive services provided by local agencies
  • Laundry facilities are available at Safe Stay 3 (other sites are close to laundry mat options)
Road 2 Home (Safe Parking Zone)The City established a safe location for people living in their vehicles to park in 2020. The site has parking spaces for 50 vehicles and serves more than 80 people. Thrive 2 Survive will begin operating the site in January 2024. Learn more.

Camp Cleanups

The City has completed 81 camp cleanups since February 2021. Camp residents also receive support service referrals as part of the cleanup effort.

Sanitation Sites

Portable toilets, hand washing stations and garbage service at six campsite locations. Learn more.

Talkin’ Trash

This Share Vancouver program, with funding support and coordination with the City, picks up 20 tons of trash monthly. The program employs individuals with lived experiences with homelessness. Learn more.
Mail ServiceMail services are provided five days a week through a partnership with Outsiders Inn. Learn more.
Housing ProgramsThe City's housing programs support increasing and preserving Vancouver's supply of affordable housing options and investing in programs and services that prevent homelessness:

What’s Next?

Strategy

About

Expand Talkin’ Trash

Expand team and scope to include intentional outreach and engagement in camps and increased litter pick up.

Expand HART

The Homelessness Assistance and Resources Team will add another Outreach Specialist and Vancouver Police Department Officer in 2023.

Add More Safe Parking Locations

A second Safe Parking Zone was approved in the 2023-24 City budget. The City is working to locate more properties or partner with other entities to provide additional 24/7 Safe Parking sites for residents living in cars or RVs.

Establish a Bridge ShelterFollowing the City's declaration of emergency regarding homelessness in Nov. 2023, the City has begun work to establish a permanent shelter to provide housing and supportive services necessary to transition more unsheltered individuals into permanent housing.

Get Involved

Provide input, comments and questions using the engagement tools below:

  • Share your stories: Tell us how you have been impacted.
  • Ask a question: Send City staff a question.
  • Provide comments on specific Safe Stay Community locations as they are announced and register for associated information sessions.
  • Volunteer: To volunteer or participate in a meal train at a Vancouver Safe Stay email waystohelp@outsidersinn.org (Safe Stay 1 in East Vancouver and Safe Stay 3 downtown), hopevillage@livinghopechurch.com (Safe Stay 2 on E. Fourth Plain). Find winter shelter volunteer opportunities through Council for the Homeless.

Addressing the growing impacts of homelessness is a top priority at the City of Vancouver.

While Clark County remains the lead agency in addressing the systemic issue of homelessness in the region, the City has implemented a plan to address its immediate impacts to community health, cleanliness, and safety, including:

  • Garbage, trash and clutter in public spaces
  • Residents living in tents/vehicles in public rights-of-way
  • Livability concerns for the unhoused, including the removal of barriers to accessing services

What is the City Doing Now?

We estimate that more than 500 people are currently living in tents or vehicles in Vancouver. Below is a snapshot of the City’s current efforts to mitigate the safety, cleanliness and health impacts of homelessness.

Current Strategy

About

HARTThe City’s Homeless Assistance & Resources Team (HART) provides outreach and referrals to appropriate services for individuals experiencing homelessness, conducts assessments of encampments for cleanup and sanitation needs and coordinates cleanup efforts. Learn more.
Safe Stay Communities

Since Dec. 2021, the City has opened four supportive Safe Stay Communities. All Safe Stay Communities provide individuals living unsheltered within the city with warm, dry and secure surroundings where they have access to high-quality, compassionate, life-saving supportive services while they work to transition out of homelessness. Learn more.

Safe Stay features:

  • 20 modular Pallet shelters housing up to 40 people
  • Fenced and staffed 24/7 by a nonprofit operator
  • Trash receptacles, sanitation services, portable toilets and handwashing stations
  • Shower and restroom facilities
  • Meeting and office spaces and access to supportive services provided by local agencies
  • Laundry facilities are available at Safe Stay 3 (other sites are close to laundry mat options)
Road 2 Home (Safe Parking Zone)The City established a safe location for people living in their vehicles to park in 2020. The site has parking spaces for 50 vehicles and serves more than 80 people. Thrive 2 Survive will begin operating the site in January 2024. Learn more.

Camp Cleanups

The City has completed 81 camp cleanups since February 2021. Camp residents also receive support service referrals as part of the cleanup effort.

Sanitation Sites

Portable toilets, hand washing stations and garbage service at six campsite locations. Learn more.

Talkin’ Trash

This Share Vancouver program, with funding support and coordination with the City, picks up 20 tons of trash monthly. The program employs individuals with lived experiences with homelessness. Learn more.
Mail ServiceMail services are provided five days a week through a partnership with Outsiders Inn. Learn more.
Housing ProgramsThe City's housing programs support increasing and preserving Vancouver's supply of affordable housing options and investing in programs and services that prevent homelessness:

What’s Next?

Strategy

About

Expand Talkin’ Trash

Expand team and scope to include intentional outreach and engagement in camps and increased litter pick up.

Expand HART

The Homelessness Assistance and Resources Team will add another Outreach Specialist and Vancouver Police Department Officer in 2023.

Add More Safe Parking Locations

A second Safe Parking Zone was approved in the 2023-24 City budget. The City is working to locate more properties or partner with other entities to provide additional 24/7 Safe Parking sites for residents living in cars or RVs.

Establish a Bridge ShelterFollowing the City's declaration of emergency regarding homelessness in Nov. 2023, the City has begun work to establish a permanent shelter to provide housing and supportive services necessary to transition more unsheltered individuals into permanent housing.

Get Involved

Provide input, comments and questions using the engagement tools below:

  • Share your stories: Tell us how you have been impacted.
  • Ask a question: Send City staff a question.
  • Provide comments on specific Safe Stay Community locations as they are announced and register for associated information sessions.
  • Volunteer: To volunteer or participate in a meal train at a Vancouver Safe Stay email waystohelp@outsidersinn.org (Safe Stay 1 in East Vancouver and Safe Stay 3 downtown), hopevillage@livinghopechurch.com (Safe Stay 2 on E. Fourth Plain). Find winter shelter volunteer opportunities through Council for the Homeless.
  • County and City Seek Volunteers for Homelessness Policy Group

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The Clark County and city of Vancouver councils are recruiting for two volunteers to join a collaborative policy group addressing the issue of homelessness in the community known as the Joint Executive Group.

    The recruitment is for individuals with lived experience with homelessness. Terms would be approximately 12 months with the exact term to be decided at a later date.

    The county and the city approved a memorandum of agreement between the two jurisdictions in October 2020 to enable leaders from both organizations to collaborate on projects and initiatives that will address homelessness and its impacts within the county. The group will make homelessness policy recommendations to the county and city councils.

    Regular meetings will be held at least once per quarter. Additional meetings may be called by majority request of the voting members at a time when quorum and notification requirements are able to be met.

    Anyone interested in applying should send either an email or a letter of interest to Michelle Pfenning, PO Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000 or michelle.pfenning@clark.wa.gov. The communications should include why the applicant is interested in serving on the policy group and any pertinent background information.

    Application deadline is 5 pm Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.

  • City Issues Request For Proposals for Supported Campsites & Safe Park Locations

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The City is currently seeking proposals from organizations interested in operating the supported campsite and Safe Park locations included in the City’s Homelessness Response Plan.

    The Request For Proposals was issued on July 23 and proposals are due by Aug. 11.

    Read the Request For Proposals.

  • Set up a virtual meeting

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Community organizations and businesses may also request a live virtual meeting with the city to learn more about the plan and provide feedback. Those interested in coordinating a virtual meeting can contact Jamie Spinelli at Jamie.Spinelli@cityofvancouver.us.

Page last updated: 19 Dec 2023, 03:42 PM