Latest News from Outsiders Inn

Vancouver City Council Meeting (07-27-15)

Tonight the City Council met and during the Citizens Forum Andy Silver from the Council for the Homeless spoke about the policy recommendations for the Tenant Protections for Vunerable Tenants and the upcoming Affordable Housing meetings and we were proud to be mentioned alongside other community organizations & providers like Peace Health and CVAB for helping to make those policy recommendations at 1:05:58.

Andy Silver starts speaking at about 1:04:17

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Reporting a rape in Vancouver, Washington

Being a outside is a scary place to be for anyone. But as a woman, there is the added constant fear of sexual assault. You are either hyper-aware of your vulnerability and efforts to stay safe, or you are putting yourself into danger of being raped, or worse.  I have personally experienced it, as probably any woman who has spent any amount of time being homeless has experienced it.  It is a fight for your life before, during and after, and then comes the fear and confusion on how should we handle the situation? How do we survive this, and for a lot of us we add the word - again?

Every person has a different story, and it's true that sexual assault is hard to talk about. It thrives in an environment of silence and may cause fear, embarassment, shame and guilt for the victim/survivor. Those affected by sexual assault, especially homeless women are often silenced by these feelings every day. The abusers depend on this silence and their place of vulnerability to keep the cycle of abuse going. We need to support victim/survivors in a way that they can find their voice and try to find real safety in this crazy world.

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WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS HOMELESS IN CLARK COUNTY, VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON

Follow these steps and suggestions, regardless of what you may have heard:

Immediately call the Housing Solutions Hotline at 360-695-9677 they will do a phone assessment and then inform you of any availability in shelters.  If there isn't space available, they will tell you specifc times and days to call back. Those times are different for men, women and families. Make sure to start calling 3-5 minutes prior to the time assigned. The way it works is, if an opening becomes available, then those openings are given to the first callers at the assigned times. So CALL on your assigned times/days.

Other options if you are struggling with addiction and staying clean, there is the sobering unit where anyone, depending on availability, can get a bed for 12 hours and if an individual so desires, he may then possibly go from the sobering unit to detox. These possibly can be obtained by calling 360-397-8500

If you are a single female and dealing with a domestic violence situation, there is the YWCA Safe Choice program 360-696-0167

Also if you have SSI, SSDI or an income from any source, there are numerous faith-based organizations that have clean and sober houses that only require an adherence to their policies of sobriety and faith.

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