Day Center Proposal for People who are Homeless
In December 2015, the City of Vancouver assisted in funding and siting a temporary day center for people who are homeless at the Friends of the Carpenter Warehouse, 1600 W 20th St.
Over the past year, the temporary day center has been used by over 900 individuals but building and site limitations have deterred the effectiveness of the operation. In addition to easement issues, site location, building limitations, and changes in bus service, additional areas of concern identified were:
- Conflict between pedestrians and truck traffic in the access easement
- The stream of foot traffic through the neighborhood from Share House to the day center
- Lack of space for showers and bathrooms
- Lack of private counseling space
Earlier in 2015, the City of Vancouver convened a group of stakeholders to weigh in on the day center’s location and key features. The following areas were identified as being especially important to this group and to respondents to a survey conducted by the Council for the Homeless and Share House:
- Proximity to Downtown and Share House
- Availability of services
- Hygiene services, such as showers and restrooms
- Clear rules and expectations
Working with project partners and stakeholders, it was determined that moving the day center would help to address the above areas. A proposal has been made for a new, permanent day center building at a new location.
The proposed site for the new day center is 1115 W 13th Street (across the street from Share House and next to Lincoln Place).
The day center will be open seven days a week from 7 am to 5 pm. The planned 3,000 square feet building will include: a great room, laundry room, small group kitchen, 1 handicapped restroom, 4 shower/ restroom combinations, and 2 small counseling offices.
Share House, in partnership with local non-profits, will offer a range of services including: mental health counseling, general education classes, case management, personal storage, mail, phone charging stations, storage of belongings and job search assistance.
Siting Ordinance Application
The proposed day center is a co-location of human service facilities (VMC Chapter 20.870) and will require a land use permit review process. The land use permit process will include a Notice of Application letter that will be mailed to all residences and owners of property within 500 feet of the site as well as to any city recognized neighborhood association whose boundaries include the site as well as any adjacent neighborhood associations. The notice will include information about the project and including staff contact information and public comment procedures. A human service facility co-location does not require a public hearing but does allow for citizen comments. Additionally, any parties that have submitted written comments on the proposed development will have standing to appeal the project during the appeal period.
Project partners include: City of Vancouver, Share House, Clark County Community Services, and the Vancouver Housing Authority.
Multiple sources will contribute to project funding including: the City of Vancouver, deed recording fees administered by Clark County, the Vancouver Housing Authority, and Washington State. Initial budget estimates are $800,000 for building construction and $300,000 for annual staff operations.
January—February 2017: City staff will attend surrounding neighborhood association meetings throughout January and February 2017.
March 2017: Notification of funding application decision (Share House) from Washington State.
April 2017 (tentative): Select architect and complete land use process.
Summer 2017 (tentative): Construction begins.
Proposed Homeless Day Center Vancouver, WA