Homelessness Response Plan

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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 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

Mail Service

Mail services provided five days a week through a partnership with Outsiders Inn. Learn more.

Sanitation Sites

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

Talkin’ Trash

Share Vancouver program, with funding support and coordination with the City, picks up 20 tons of trash monthly. Learn more.

HART

The City’s Homeless Assistance & Resources Team (HART) provides outreach and referrals to appropriate services for individuals experiencing homelessness and provides assessments for cleanup and sanitation needs. Learn more.

Camp Cleanups

The City has completed 14 camp cleanups since February 2021. Camp residents also receive support service referrals as part of the cleanup effort.

Safe Parking Zone

The City established a safe location for people living in their vehicles to park during the pandemic. The site has parking spaces for over 50 vehicles and serves more than 60 people. Learn more.

Safe Stay Community

On Dec. 23, 2021, the City of Vancouver opened its first Safe Stay Community, providing the most vulnerable in the community with warm, dry and secure surroundings where they have access to high-quality, compassionate life-saving and social services while they work to transition out of homelessness. Site features:

  • 20 modular Pallet shelters housing up to 40 people
  • Fenced and staffed 24/7 by nonprofit operator Outsiders Inn
  • Trash receptacles, sanitation services, portable toilets and handwashing stations
  • Meeting and office spaces and access to supportive services provided by local agencies

What’s Next?

The planned strategies are designed to help alleviate the negative impacts of homelessness to the housed and unhoused:

Strategy

About

Expand Talkin’ Trash

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

Expand HART

  • Contract with Columbia River Mental Health to add Street Treatment Team
  • Additional team members include a certified mental health and substance use disorder professional, a professional to address minor medical needs, a peer-support counselor or outreach worker to connect people to housing and other needed resources, and a licensed professional with the ability to prescribe medications.
  • This team will provide proactive engagement, not crisis response.

Add More Safe Parking Locations

Locate more properties or partner with other entities to provide additional 24/7 Safe Parking sites for residents living in cars or RVs.

Establish Safe Stay Communities (formerly referred to as supportive campsites)

Supportive Safe Stay Communities will help ensure clean, safe and healthy conditions for housed and unhoused:

  • Limit to 20 modular Pallet shelters per site
  • Contract with nonprofit operator to staff each site 24/7
  • Provide fencing, sanitation and garbage services
  • Community-based services can be provided on site

Get Involved!

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

  • Share your ideas: We welcome constructive and positive feedback to help improve conditions for both our housed and unhoused residents.
  • 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.

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 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

Mail Service

Mail services provided five days a week through a partnership with Outsiders Inn. Learn more.

Sanitation Sites

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

Talkin’ Trash

Share Vancouver program, with funding support and coordination with the City, picks up 20 tons of trash monthly. Learn more.

HART

The City’s Homeless Assistance & Resources Team (HART) provides outreach and referrals to appropriate services for individuals experiencing homelessness and provides assessments for cleanup and sanitation needs. Learn more.

Camp Cleanups

The City has completed 14 camp cleanups since February 2021. Camp residents also receive support service referrals as part of the cleanup effort.

Safe Parking Zone

The City established a safe location for people living in their vehicles to park during the pandemic. The site has parking spaces for over 50 vehicles and serves more than 60 people. Learn more.

Safe Stay Community

On Dec. 23, 2021, the City of Vancouver opened its first Safe Stay Community, providing the most vulnerable in the community with warm, dry and secure surroundings where they have access to high-quality, compassionate life-saving and social services while they work to transition out of homelessness. Site features:

  • 20 modular Pallet shelters housing up to 40 people
  • Fenced and staffed 24/7 by nonprofit operator Outsiders Inn
  • Trash receptacles, sanitation services, portable toilets and handwashing stations
  • Meeting and office spaces and access to supportive services provided by local agencies

What’s Next?

The planned strategies are designed to help alleviate the negative impacts of homelessness to the housed and unhoused:

Strategy

About

Expand Talkin’ Trash

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

Expand HART

  • Contract with Columbia River Mental Health to add Street Treatment Team
  • Additional team members include a certified mental health and substance use disorder professional, a professional to address minor medical needs, a peer-support counselor or outreach worker to connect people to housing and other needed resources, and a licensed professional with the ability to prescribe medications.
  • This team will provide proactive engagement, not crisis response.

Add More Safe Parking Locations

Locate more properties or partner with other entities to provide additional 24/7 Safe Parking sites for residents living in cars or RVs.

Establish Safe Stay Communities (formerly referred to as supportive campsites)

Supportive Safe Stay Communities will help ensure clean, safe and healthy conditions for housed and unhoused:

  • Limit to 20 modular Pallet shelters per site
  • Contract with nonprofit operator to staff each site 24/7
  • Provide fencing, sanitation and garbage services
  • Community-based services can be provided on site

Get Involved!

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

  • Share your ideas: We welcome constructive and positive feedback to help improve conditions for both our housed and unhoused residents.
  • 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.
Page last updated: 05 January 2022, 15:39