Safe Stay Communities

In 2021, City Council approved a plan to create temporary, supportive Safe Stay Communities for people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver.

Safe Stays are temporary communities offering residents greater access to services, increased stability and safe living conditions to transition out of homelessness. Each Safe Stay has 20 two-person structures that offer shelter for up to 40 residents. A nonprofit operator provides 24/7 onsite management and services.

Health and safety are major priorities for the City and its partners. For this reason, all Safe Stays have fencing, provide sanitation and hygiene services, and offer health services.

Resources for Safe Stay Neighbors

These toolkits are designed to help answer neighbor questions and provide resources to address concerns related to a Safe Stay Community near you.

Safe Stay 1

Safe Stay 1: The Outpost

The Safe Stay Community at 11400 N.E. 51st Circle provides 20 modular shelters housing up to 40 people. The site is fenced and staffed 24/7 by the onsite nonprofit operator, Outsiders Inn. It includes trash receptacles and sanitation services, shower/restroom facilities, meeting and office space, and access to supportive services provided by local agencies.

Before opening the City’s first Safe Stay Community, the property at 11400 N.E. 51st Circle was the site of a sizable unsanctioned homeless encampment. Since the Safe Stay’s opening, the number of calls to police for service and officer-initiated activity within a 500-foot radius of the address dropped 30% over the same period (January-June) compared to 2021. Of the other Fire/EMS-related calls for service within the same radius, the percentage responding specifically to this address dropped from 15.6% to 6% of the total.

Safe Stay 2

Safe Stay 2: Hope Village

The Safe Stay Community at 4915 E. Fourth Plain Blvd provides 20 modular shelters housing up to 40 people. The site is fenced and staffed 24/7 by the onsite nonprofit operator, Live Love Outreach. It includes trash receptacles and sanitation services, shower/restroom facilities, meeting and office space, and access to supportive services provided by local agencies. 

Read the 12-month report (April 2023).

Safe Stay 2 celebrates its second anniversary (April 2024).

Safe Stay 3

Safe Stay 3: 415 West

The Safe Stay Community located at 415 W. 11th Street, opened Nov. 20, 2023. This temporary community, which provides stable shelter and supportive services for up to 40 people in 20 modular shelters, is now at capacity. The new community’s residents consist primarily of individuals who were previously living unsheltered in the downtown area. The site is fenced and plumbed to provide showers, restrooms and laundry facilities and is staffed and managed 24/7 by the non-profit operator Outsider’s Inn.

Safe Stay 4

Safe Stay 4: Kiggins Village

Vancouver’s fourth Safe Stay Community opened Dec. 2023 at 4611 Main Street.

Like other Safe Stay Communities, the site provides 20 modular shelters housing up to 40 people. The community is fenced and staffed 24/7 by the onsite nonprofit operator Do Good Multnomah and features trash receptacles, sanitation services and mobile shower/restroom units.

 The site also celebrates a couple of firsts for the City’s Safe Stay program model, including:

  • State partnership: Through a partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), we’ve utilized this state-owned property to help relocate individuals living unsheltered on other WSDOT rights-of-way and properties not intended for habitation.
  • Focus on vets: The site’s operator has a successful track record of supporting veterans experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Safe Stay locations selected?

When determining where to propose a Safe Stay Community, the City of Vancouver considers four primary factors:

  1. Dispersing Safe Stay Communities equitably throughout the city,
  2. Availability of public transit
  3. Assessing residential areas with heightened economic vulnerability
  4. Acute need resulting from camping in nearby parks, pathways or greenways

How does a Safe Stay support neighborhoods and those experiencing homelessness?

Safe Stay Communities help address the immediate impacts of homelessness on community health, safety, and cleanliness, including removal of garbage, trash and clutter in public spaces and relocation of residents living in tents or vehicles in public rights of way. Once a proposed Safe Stay Community is open, public camping is not allowed within 1,000 feet.

What are the City and community partners doing to address homelessness?

Homelessness is a complex topic that can only be addressed by working together with a wide range of city, county and community partners. Groups working to address homelessness in Vancouver include Clark CountyCouncil for the HomelessShare Vancouver, Clark County Food BankOutsiders InnSalvation ArmySt. Vincent de Paul, and Vancouver Public Schools’ Family-Community Resource Centers).

The crisis of homelessness and its impacts on public health and sanitation remain a top and urgent concern of many neighbors and businesses in our community. Over the last few years, we’ve enhanced our approach to tackling the impacts of homelessness, collaborating with our community and our partners to increase direct outreach, opening supportive Safe Stay and Safe Parks, conducting unsafe encampment clean ups and more.

Due to the growing complexity of this crisis, we declared a homelessness state of emergency in Vancouver in Nov. 2023.  The declaration gives us the agility, tools, and resources to address homelessness and its impacts on both the housed and unhoused with the urgency our community needs.

The City’s Homeless Assistance & Resources Team (HART) provides compassionate outreach and assistance to folks living unsheltered and serves as a point of contact for community members who may be concerned about safety or sanitation.

How can the community get involved?

Neighbors and community members play an important role in supporting Vancouver’s Safe Stay Communities. Once a community opens, people may give of their time as volunteers, gather welcome baskets for new residents or donate money to help pay for meals. Explore current donation and volunteer opportunities at our Safe Stay/Safe Park communities.

Background documents