It will also be a continuous-stay shelter, meaning residents will not be required to leave each morning to find a place to be during the day.
Andy Silver, VHA’s director of supportive services, said the more private space people have, the more successful they are transitioning from homelessness to housing.
“It’s also seen as a more trauma-informed way to provide shelter space,” Silver said in a news release.
He noted that some shelter residents are victims of violence.
“Having a door that locks and private space is a big part of feeling safe,” he said.
This will be the fourth shelter owned by VHA and operated by service providers in Clark County.
VHA is working with Clark County Community Services and the city of Vancouver to open the shelter. All three agencies are contributing funds to buy the property.
Funding for shelter operations will come from a variety of state, federal and local sources. VHA is in the process of seeking additional funding for the site purchase and operations.
Clark County Community Services will hire an operator for the shelter with the goal of opening it in March or early April. Shelter operations funding will come from a variety of state, federal and local sources.
When funding for the shelter runs out in two to three years, VHA plans to convert the facility into permanent affordable housing.
“We’re trying to look at whatever means we can to add to the affordable housing stock in Clark County,” said VHA Executive Director Roy Johnson.
Silver said that while the hospitality industry has slowed down during the pandemic, the same cannot be said for the rental market. Converting hotels to affordable housing “is a great opportunity,” he said.
The housing authority is looking to convert other Clark County hotels and motels into permanent affordable housing. Last year, a temporary 116-room shelter operated at the Motel 6 location in east Vancouver. It closed in December when funds ran out.