City of Vancouver seeks input from neighbors about third ‘Safe Stay Community’ site
VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) - The City of Vancouver is considering building another Safe Stay Community to help more people transition out of homelessness.
The site under consideration is at Daniels and West 11th Street, about a block away from Clark County Superior Court. The vacant lot is currently used for parking and is surrounded by various local businesses.
The city says the spot would be a good location for another Safe Stay Community because it’s close to public transit and close to where people experiencing homelessness are currently staying.
Stanley Loebig became homeless two days ago. He’s staying at St. Paul Church down the road and was walking to catch the bus to work in Portland when he spoke with FOX 12.
His stop is only three blocks from the proposed site, and he says he understands and even agrees with concerns people living nearby may have that homeless people take advantage of the system and just use these communities as a place to stay and continue their lifestyle. Loebig says that is not the case for him. He’s going to work everyday and just wants a place to lay his head at the end of the night.
“Someplace safe. Out from the elements, out from people harassing them. Just a place where you know you can lay your head and not have to worry about people coming in and bothering you,” he said. “Yeah, I’m working and I agree with them to a point, there are those people. But there are those people who just want to go to work and be part of society and contribute, and that’s worth holding down a job. Whether they have an income or not, it gives them something to look forward to.”
The City of Vancouver says the Safe Stay Communities are meant for people like him, who are working to transition out of homelessness.
The first community is at 11400 Northeast 51st Circle, which opened back in Dec. 2021. The second opened in April of this year and is at 4915 East Fourth Plain Boulevard. Both site are located on city property.
The City of Vancouver released a statement, saying: “Since opening, these 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.”
City leaders are optimistic about the third location, but before it is built they want input from the community.
If you live within 1,200 feet of 415 West 11th Street, you may have received a letter from the City of Vancouver asking you to weigh in.
Something important for people living nearby the proposed site to know - if the community is built it would ban camping within 1,000 feet of the site. The city’s Homeless Assistance and Resource Team would enforce that rule.
The city is giving community members a chance to weigh in on the third location this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall.
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