Vancouver Safe Stay Community fed with meals prepared by volunteers
When Felida resident Michelle Sanow heard about Vancouver’s first Safe Stay Community opening in December, she immediately wanted to know how she could help.
The Safe Stay community, called The Outpost, is the city’s first pallet shelter community at 11400 NE 51st Circle. It includes 20 shelters that house approximately 25 homeless people. It also has trash cans, sanitation services, portable toilets, a small kitchen area, hand washing stations, a garden and access to support services.
Sanow contacted The Outpost’s nonprofit operator, Outsiders Inn, which runs the site 24/7. That’s how she got involved with The Outpost’s Meal Train, a community-wide effort to bring lunch and dinner to Outpost residents 365 days a year.
“I just thought, oh my God, here’s something I can do to help the homeless. And I was happy to see the City of Vancouver doing something to get people out of homelessness,” Sanow said. “It felt like a practical thing that we could do as a family. It’s just super rewarding.
Sanow, a mother of five, cooks meals for The Outpost about once a month. She spent half the day cooking on Wednesday, bringing baked ziti, salad, sautéed broccoli, French bread and chocolate chip cookies for the residents’ dinner.