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 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 Homeless Assistance & 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
  • 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 Homeless Assistance & 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.

How have you been impacted by homelessness in our community? How are you helping?

Tell us your personal story.

Please note your story will be visible to all visitors after you submit. Please do not include personal information.

Vulgar and hurtful stories will be deleted. 

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    Help for the never been homeless until now

    by tripthishouse, about 1 month ago
    I have been homeless for 8 months with my minor child. The local homeless council wouldn't help us with housing because I'm sane and don't have a drug problem and I'm not wrapped up in the system for a crime. They seem to only house people with mental issues or drug problems. My family was forced on the street and never been homeless a day in our lives and they turned us away and said they wouldn't help us. We need better non profits for are about helping everyone not just people with issues. Homeless is homeless. I have a... Continue reading

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    Solutions not just relocation and consolidation

    by Active and Concerned Citizen, about 1 month ago

    I am strongly in favor of offering services to assist the homeless population that want help and as such we need to find a better solution to the problem than what we currently have. A large portion of the homeless crisis is one of addiction and mental health and the lack of resources as well as the lack of desire of the population to seek help.

    I have worked extremely hard to be able to provide for my family and purchase an income property to help us in our retirement. Currently our neighborhood has become a foraging ground for addicts... Continue reading

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    Homeless Camp Safety and Crime

    by Concerned at OLP, 2 months ago

    I own a condo at One Lake Place and the HOA recommended owners and tenants send comments to you about the location of the camp. Since the camp took hold at its current location my tenant has had two break-ins into his garage which resulted in damage to the door, and the stealing of several items in his car, as well as the removal of a fog light from his vehicle. Homeless can be seen wandering through the complex and our unit backs up to Burnt Bridge Creek where he has seen homeless congregating in the evening hours. There must... Continue reading

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    Ted Pyle helped 5 homeless people a year for 20 years

    by Wolfsburg Warehouse, 3 months ago

    Ted Pyle's home in VANCOUVER, WA destroyed by Vancouver Code Enforcement, his property cleared by Court order. Ted, a 73 year old Senior Citizen and Vancouver property owner who had been providing housing for up to 5 homeless people at a time for over 20 years. After being forced to dismantle his home and storage sheds he created, Ted now being forced to embrace the homelessness he struggled to end for others.

    .

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    New Story | "Crazy Until It's Not"

    by Wolfsburg Warehouse, 3 months ago

    The journey of how New Story supporters have helped transform communities around the globe.

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    New Pallet shelter village opens in Burlington, Washington

    by Wolfsburg Warehouse, 4 months ago

    Friendship House, a nonprofit organization focused on transforming a person's crisis situation into an opportunity for empowerment and self-sufficiency.

    New Pallet shelter village opens in Burlington, Washington — Pallet


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    Affordable architecture designed by Hansagarten

    by Wolfsburg Warehouse, 4 months ago

    This shelter/shed kit can be assembled in a few hours

    Cheap wooden houses with shower room and toilet
    Affordable architecture designed by Hansagarten
    The assembly of a BBQ pavilion "Seattle"

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    Barriers block access to Vancouver houseless camp fire

    by Wolfsburg Warehouse, 4 months ago

    The brush fire erupted a little after midnight at 11581 NE 51st Circle. Vancouver firefighters called for extra units to battle the blaze that was showing very large flames, Jacquelyn Abad reports.

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    No longer able to enjoy marshal park

    by M.L.A, 4 months ago
    My story is just as important even if it isn’t helpful. We are no longer able to enjoy the Marshall Center or Marshall Park due to the homeless camp that is on the other side of the fence next to I-5. The people there are unkind, yell at us, and make vulgar statements. I appreciate the effort to move these individuals to a safer place for them and also for the community.


    Additionally, multiple times I’ve almost hit someone that’s crossing the freeway on ramp. This is a very unsafe place to have people living.

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    Triggers of a foster child

    by Chicken, 4 months ago
    We were at the farmers market when I figured noticed it. Our foster child was about 6 at the time and I could see them scanning the group of homeless people near the gazebo. Constantly looking, wondering if any of them were their biological mom.


    That night they were irritated more than normal, which was common, because when you come from homelessness, and addiction as a foster child seeing homelessness and addiction is a reminder, every day that someone out there picked drugs over you. When we first adopted them, it wasn’t like it is now. We live in the... Continue reading

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