Vancouver homeless shelter on the move

December 6, 2017 by  

Vancouver officials have announced plans to relocate a homeless day shelter.

The city plans to buy the former Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife building and remodel it. The purchase price for the building, which is on Grand Boulevard, is $4.3m. Once the renovations are finished and the new center opens, the current facility, which is near downtown, will close its doors.

A day center provides a location for the homeless to get out of the weather, access the Internet, use lockers, and get some rest. However, the present shelter lacks several vital amenities, most importantly showers and a laundry. Ryan Merricks, who is homeless, uses the shelter, and told that he and others would really appreciate a place where they could get clean. Toshia Hayes, who is homeless as well, agrees, saying Vancouver does not have many places where showers are available.

The current shelter is operated by Share Vancouver, a nonprofit organization. Share officials, as well as Vancouver leaders, agree that there is a need for a more centrally based, bigger shelter that provides more services. The WDFW building offers 25,000 square feet and will include a laundry, showers, and more restrooms. People in the neighborhood of the new shelter have proven receptive to the idea. The city hopes to finalize the purchase of the building in January, 2018.

Projects like this are important to many residents, so officials could work with a newsletter printing company to create a letter to keep them updated.