Latest News from Outsiders Inn

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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Update on the current issues

So here is an update on the current issues that have been expressed to me.

The two major projects that are in process are the Day Center surveys and the search for more bed space for single women in Clark County. We NEED your help in both!  I welcome you to follow the links and read about those projects and pitch in with completing a survey and making real suggestions for viable single women bed space. 
 
Now here are some of those updates on the issues surrounding basic needs like electrical plug ins, access to water, and access to a place to put garbage at the Share House.
 

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