The City of Vancouver is proposing the property at 4611 Main St. as a potential location for its next Safe Stay Community for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.
The property – approximately 18,750 square feet – is owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and is being leased to the City. The City worked with WSDOT to pursue this location as it is close to public transportation and will help address the needs of nearby unhoused residents.
While encampments on state highways and other state properties appear intermittently, WSDOT, as a transportation agency, is not equipped to address the underlying causes of unsheltered homelessness. WSDOT welcomes the opportunity to partner with the City on this proposed Safe Stay location and supports this compassionate solution to address the safety of those living at encampments, as well as the traveling public and road crews working near these sites.
The City is currently conducting extensive outreach to all residents and business owners within 1,200 feet of the proposed site, seeking their input during a public comment period that is part of the process established for opening any location for a Safe Stay Community.
If approved, the proposed site at 4611 Main St. would be the fourth Safe Stay Community to be approved in Vancouver. The first, located in east Vancouver, opened in December 2021. The second site in northeast Vancouver opened in April 2022. A third site has been approved and is awaiting construction. Since opening, the first two communities have successfully provided their residents with referrals for permanent housing, job placement support and access to critical health and treatment services necessary to exit homelessness.
Like the existing Safe Stay Communities, the proposed fourth site would provide 20 modular shelters housing up to 40 people. The site will be fenced and staffed 24/7 by the onsite nonprofit operator, Do Good Multnomah. It will include trash receptacles and sanitation services, portable toilets and hand washing stations, meeting and office space, and access to supportive services provided by local agencies.
Public comment period now open
The City is committed to informing and involving neighbors and surrounding businesses in the Safe Stay Community planning process. Community members are invited to visit beheardvancouver.org/ssc4 to share their thoughts and feedback about the proposed site. The city also invites community members to attend one of two upcoming community information sessions. These sessions will include a chance to ask questions, learn more about the proposed Safe Stay location and about service provider, Do Good Multnomah. Sessions will be held on:
- Attend Online – Wednesday, May 31, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Community members can participate in the virtual session using a computer, smart device or phone. To register, visit cityofvancouver.us/cis
- Attend In-Person – Monday, June 5, from 7 to 9 p.m., Discovery Middle School Commons, 800 E 40th St, Vancouver, WA 98663. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register by phone or request language interpretation services, please call 360-487-8616.
To learn more about the City’s Homelessness Response Plan and sign up to receive email updates, please visit beheardvancouver.org/homelessness-response.
Following public input and final approval, the City would plan to open this proposed Safe Stay Community this fall.
Source: City of Vancouver