Homeless service nonprofit Share will cease operating the Vancouver Navigation Center after January.
Executive Director Diane McWithey said Share and the city of Vancouver had different opinions on how to operate the Navigation Center, a day facility for the area’s homeless population. She said she and Deputy Director Amy Reynolds met with the city’s Homeless Resource Manager Jackie St. Louis on Oct. 25 about needing to remove Share from the day center.
Share will begin notifying clients today of the change. A replacement operator was not identified in an email sent by the city in response to Share’s decision. Nine Share employees who work at the facility will move to other Share programs or receive severance packages.
McWithey said they felt Share and city did not have “the same mission vision and values as to how to run the day center, so we gave notice.” She said Share’s decision did not have to do with a recently released third-party report from Alpha Project, a San Diego-based nonprofit. The meeting with St. Louis was scheduled before the report came out.
The report described the center as poorly managed and recommended several changes, including opening a temporary, 150-bed bridge shelter. During its Sept. 4 site visit, “Alpha Project observed virtually no control over access to the facility, little client engagement, and an absence of any social modeling to shape and control client conduct. During the same visit, Alpha Project observed neighborhood impacts stemming from client conduct in the community and little effort to mitigate those issues or engage community interests in positive relationships.”
McWithey said the comment that the center is poorly managed was unfair as Alpha Project staff spent “seven minutes” in the center and did not speak with its operating staff.