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A sunset view of The Columbia River from downtown Vancouver, WA, in Clark County, by Dave Herring, via Unsplash

Clark County consistently has a bed shortage for people experiencing homelessness. This isn’t a local problem but rather one experienced throughout the nation. 

For this reason, Columbia River Mental Health Services (Columbia River) is excited to announce a new partnership with Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (CCSWW) as part of the Clark County homeless response system. CCSWW will lease Elahan Place, the former residential rehabilitation and treatment center, as a continuous stay, non-congregate shelter for people experiencing homelessness, to be named Bertha’s Too. 

Aiming to open as soon as possible this fall 2021 or winter 2022, the 32-bed shelter will serve single women, couples, and individuals over 55. As a service partner, Columbia River will provide behavioral healthcare to people residing at the shelter. 

“As we approach the colder seasons, it is critical to have more shelter beds in Clark County. This partnership is perfect for the former Elahan Place facility,” says Victor Jackson, CEO of Columbia River. “Many people accessing shelters have experienced past trauma and may be living with mental health or substance use disorders. This partnership gives shelter residents direct access to our programs and therapists.”

Bertha’s Too will complement the work at Bertha’s Place, a central Vancouver homeless shelter that was formerly a hotel. In conjunction with Bertha’s Place, it will increase indoor non-congregate shelter beds in Clark County by 94 and expand Clark County’s shelter capacity for year-round available shelter beds. 

Once open, access to the shelter will be through the Clark County coordinated entry system operated by Council for the Homeless, a Clark County nonprofit that serves the homeless population. 

To stay updated on all that’s happening at Columbia River check out our other news posts.

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