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News Release
New homeless shelter to open in Clark County this fall - 11/19/21

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, 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. 

About Columbia River Mental Health Services: Founded in 1942, Columbia River Mental Health Services is Clark County’s oldest provider of behavioral health services. With a mission to provide behavioral health and recovery services that transform the lives of children, adults, and families in the communities of SW Washington, Columbia River serves over 5,000 people each year. 

Clark County Community Services, through partnerships, supports all people in our community to increase their well-being and economic security, working to create a thriving community where people are valued and have the resources they need to flourish. Clark County Community Services funds programs supporting Behavioral Health and Youth, Community Action and Housing, people with Developmental Disabilities; and provides crisis response services in Clark County.

Catholic Community Services is the largest, private provider of social services in Washington State. CCS is a church-sponsored, community-based Multi-Service Organization serving everyone regardless of religious identification. CCS create safety, stability, and supportive connections by building and operating affordable housing; providing home care services that enable seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their homes; providing intensive, in-home, wrap-around services to children, youth, and families with mental health and other multiple and complex needs, most often allowing families to stay together; And, delivering services tailored to local communities’ needs.

View more news releases from Columbia River Mental Health Services.