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Vancouver church backs out of homeless village

Church received threat of lawsuit; backers vow to find new location

AdamKravitz and BillRitchie AmandaCowen TheColumbian

By Amy Fischer, Columbian City Government Reporter

Published:

A Vancouver church that had agreed to host a village of 40 tiny houses for the homeless has pulled out of the project, leaving organizers searching for a new location.

Safe Harbor Church of the Nazarene received a threat of a lawsuit, the church said on its Facebook page, adding, “We do not wish to fight with our neighbors, so we made the painful decision to withdraw from the project.”

The church’s pastor, David Edwards, previously said the Council for the Homeless and its partners could build a temporary, emergency village for 50 homeless people this winter in an empty field behind the church at 8100 E. Mill Plain Blvd., which is next to the Garrison Square shopping center. Bordered by 82nd Avenue, which dead-ends at an apartment complex, the Safe Harbor church site was chosen because it’s close to a hospital, a bus line and shopping.

Andy Silver, executive director of the Council for the Homeless, said he received the news Wednesday morning.

All the partners involved are still “100 percent committed to making this happen,” Silver said.

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