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;
  • And 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 partnership with Outsider’s Inn.

Sanitation Sites

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

Talkin’ Trash

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

HART

City’s Homelessness Assistant & Resources Team (HART) provides outreach and referrals to appropriate services for individuals experiencing homelessness and provides assessment for cleanup and sanitation needs.

Camp Cleanups

Seven cleanups conducted since March 2020, resulting in more than 48 tons of solid waste removed. Residents also receive support service referrals.

Safe Park Zone

A safe location for people living in their vehicles to park during the pandemic. The site currently hosts 44 vehicles serving 70 adults and 10 children.

What’s Next?

The plan 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 Park Locations

Locate other properties or partner with other entities for additional 24/7 Safe Park capacity (for residents living in cars or RVs).

Establish Supported Campsites

Supported campsites to ensure clean, safe and healthy conditions for housed and unhoused:

  • Limit to 20 tents or camps per site.
  • Contract with nonprofit(s) to host and support camps.
  • Provide fencing, sanitation and garbage services.
  • Community based services can be provided on site.

We Need Your Ideas!

  • 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.

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;
  • And 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 partnership with Outsider’s Inn.

Sanitation Sites

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

Talkin’ Trash

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

HART

City’s Homelessness Assistant & Resources Team (HART) provides outreach and referrals to appropriate services for individuals experiencing homelessness and provides assessment for cleanup and sanitation needs.

Camp Cleanups

Seven cleanups conducted since March 2020, resulting in more than 48 tons of solid waste removed. Residents also receive support service referrals.

Safe Park Zone

A safe location for people living in their vehicles to park during the pandemic. The site currently hosts 44 vehicles serving 70 adults and 10 children.

What’s Next?

The plan 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 Park Locations

Locate other properties or partner with other entities for additional 24/7 Safe Park capacity (for residents living in cars or RVs).

Establish Supported Campsites

Supported campsites to ensure clean, safe and healthy conditions for housed and unhoused:

  • Limit to 20 tents or camps per site.
  • Contract with nonprofit(s) to host and support camps.
  • Provide fencing, sanitation and garbage services.
  • Community based services can be provided on site.

We Need Your Ideas!

  • 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.
  • Set up a virtual meeting

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    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.