Change is afoot at Vancouver’s Navigation Center, the day center for people experiencing homelessness.
The modifications are visible from the street, where temporary fencing now blocks off the formerly open-entry patio near the intersection of Grand and Fourth Plain boulevards. Inside, the center is different too. Clients now scan ID cards in order to access services like laundry and showers, and a new television and furniture offer a safe, comfortable place to rest.
Jackie St. Louis, Vancouver’s first homeless resource manager, is behind several of the changes. Since being hired for the position in August, St. Louis has focused on the Navigation Center with the philosophy that it gives the city an opportunity to be “responsive to the needs of all of its constituents, both those who are housed and unhoused,” he said.
“One of the things we’ve been very deliberate about is the code of conduct, and looking at behaviors we want to discourage.”
Share, the nonprofit that operated the Navigation Center for its first year, announced in November that it was ceasing management of the facility. The organization’s last day will be Jan. 31.