The former Vancouver Department of Fish and Wildlife building has a new purpose. The city intends to purchase the 25,000-square-foot building for $4.3 million and open a day center for homeless residents.
The building, 2018 Grand Blvd., was vacated by the agency in 2016 when it relocated to the Port of Ridgefield. The property was then purchased by Watumull Properties Corp., a Vancouver property management company.
“This building is a strategic acquisition that will assist in addressing our community’s need to provide services to its homeless population,” Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt said in a press release.
The current day center is at Friends of the Carpenter, but the contract is set to expire at the end of the year. The city plans to conduct a feasibility study and remodel the interior of the building before opening the new center. The current day center will close when the new space opens, according to the city. The sale is expected to close in January.
“Without the availability of a full service day center in our city, homeless people have been increasingly frequenting parks, businesses and public buildings,” Leavitt said. “We’ve listened to concerns from our residents and businesses, and have been diligently working with our partners and local service providers to find solutions to help those who are living on the streets.”
The building will likely offer additional services in the future, including an overnight shelter and office space for service providers such as case management, mental health care, job training and housing support.
“There is a lot of potential for what this new building could offer and I’m hopeful for what we can accomplish in this space,” Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes said in a press release. “The city looks forward to working with Clark County, the Vancouver Housing Authority, neighborhoods, community leaders, and service providers to gather input, address questions, and ultimately make this facility a successful resource center in the near future.”