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Vancouver Considers 2 New ‘Safe Stay’ Sites for Homeless People After Initial Successes

Published on September 6, 2022

Aerial view of Vancouver, Washington, across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon
Image Credit: Carol Highsmith

Less than a year after its launch, Vancouver officials are expressing optimism about the city’s newest approach to helping unhoused people, and hope to see more of it in the future.

A report card released Monday shows Vancouver’s first “Safe Stay Community,” which provides shed-like housing units and around-the-clock case managers, housed 14 of its 46 residents, a roughly 30% rate, in its first six months.

One likely factor in Vancouver’s success comes from case management, experts said. Social workers are tasked with helping people, which sometimes means holding them accountable without alienating them from the program.

Spinelli and residents at Vancouver’s “Safe Stay Community” heaped praise on Outsiders Inn on Tuesday. The Vancouver nonprofit is founded by, and largely staffed by, people who have experienced homelessness.

“Having people with lived experience is really, really important to understand what people are going through,” said Gregg Colburn, assistant professor of real estate and a housing policy analyst. “A quality service provider can have a huge impact on people.”

Continue reading at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Originally written by Troy Brynelson for Oregon Public Broadcasting.
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