“As long as we continue to operate the way we have been, just in the first six months, I’d be thrilled,” Spinelli said. “As would people who are currently living outside who would move in.”

Vancouver has so far been buying its shelters from Pallet Shelter, an Everett, Washington-based company that has grown significantly as the COVID-19 pandemic pumped up demand for emergency shelter for unhoused persons.

The so-called “non-congregate” model of shelter is on the rise nationally, experts say. The model, as opposed to the open-floor “congregate” model with rows of cots and bunkbeds sometimes seen in shelters, offers more privacy and a greater sense of security over a person’s belongings.

Steve Berg, of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, said communities are smart to lean into a new model if it is working for them, but also said communities should continue offering a range of shelter choices.

“Everybody’s different and everybody who is homeless is different,” Berg said. “That being said, if one kind of approach really proves to be more cost-effective at getting people out of homelessness … then I think that’s going to lead to further investment in that kind of model.”

One likely factor in Vancouver’s success comes from case management, experts said. Social workers are tasked with helping people, which sometimes means holding them accountable without alienating them from the program.

Spinelli and residents at Vancouver’s “Safe Stay Community” heaped praise on Outsiders Inn on Tuesday. The Vancouver nonprofit is founded by, and largely staffed by, people who have experienced homelessness.

“Having people with lived experience is really, really important to understand what people are going through,” said Gregg Colburn, a University of Washington professor and a housing policy analyst. “A quality service provider can have a huge impact on people.”

One “Safe Stay” resident underlined that sentiment Tuesday. Anthony, a 31-year-old who declined to give his last name, grew up in the Midwest and had been homeless since he was 14.

He now works as a janitor at a nearby YMCA. He said it’s his first job. He credited the “Safe Stay” staff.

“They never gave up on me,” said Anthony, who had struggled with methamphetamine. “There would be times when I’d slip. I’d be gone for a couple days. And they’d be like ‘What’s going on Anthony? Talk.’ And it’d be great.”

Anthony said the Stay Safe village helped him face his fears and focus on his future.

“I got to do what I got to do now, because I do not want to be back out there again,” he said. “I do not want to be back out there again.”