Good Neighbor Project

Lighthouse Mission Ministries (LMM) aims to be a valuable resource and supportive ally to local businesses during the three to four year temporary placement of LMM’s Base Camp (formerly called the Drop-In Center. This Good Neighbor Guide was developed by LMM to enhance the neighborhood feel, build a community-partnered response to homelessness, and mitigate potential challenges arising from relocating Base Camp two blocks from Bellingham High School to the Public Market at 1530 Cornwall Ave.

Good Neighbor Vision – Through Base Camp, LMM will provide an early-stage Enhanced Shelter experience that serves our friends and neighbors experiencing homelessness with consistent friendship, 24-hour motivational environments, and next step opportunities out of homelessness. The purpose of this is three-fold:

  1. Communal hospitality in safe grace-based environments builds the trust and stability needed to engage next-stage life-recovery programs.
  2. Its proximity to the urban center with secure outdoor areas has the added advantage of drawing chronically homeless individuals out of the downtown core and into homeless services.
  3. Downtown Bellingham residents and businesses utilize engagement toolboxes to confidently and compassionately solve problems.

Email Contact:  For all electronic and digital communications please email our team.

Downtown Bellingham Liaison: Ben Zobrist Cell: 360.483.9561 | Email: benz@thelighthousemission.org

LMM Support Toolbox:

1. Lighthouse Mission Ministries: Base Camp Staff – LMM staff have years of experiences in homelessness issues and are highly trained in dealing with the issues and impact of a 24 hour Shelter. LMM staff will engage guests about the Mission Code of Conduct as well as monitor behavior and inspect the physical perimeter of Base Camp on a regular basis keeping it an attractive part of the neighborhood.

2. Dedicated Trash Patrol: LMM will provide dedicated staff to clean and pick up areas outlined on this map. This map does not represent a hard-line of clean-up but rather a guide line for LMM staff to go through the outlined area looking for clean up opportunities and hot spots.

3. Incident/Concern Matrix: A tool to help business in their interactions with neighbors experiencing homelessness

4. Referral Cards: These fold over cards have basic information about Base Camp for homeless individuals and a coupon for free espresso at Base Camp’s indoor Cafe Renovare. Local businesses will have these on hand to encourage folks to go to Base Camp. Request referral cards here.

5. Education through Compassionate Interaction Training (In Development): A webinar and/or on-site training helping those in proximity understand the overall impact of homelessness and how to mitigate challenges. Topics may include: Compassionate Interaction Ideas, Site Evaluations, the Mission’s Role in Outreach/Reaction, Who to Call When, Culture of Poverty, and other important resources/skills as needed. 

While the training is being scheduled, check out this video on the Culture of Poverty in Bellingham:

Click above to watch the Bellingham Culture of Poverty video.

6. Neighbor Advisory Forum (NAF): A Lighthouse Mission originated group including neighboring businesses, land owners, social workers, BPD representatives, and LMM’s Community Outreach Coordinator. NAF meets bi-weekly to discuss issues/problems and devise & implement tangible solutions for the downtown core. 

7. Downtown Outreach (In Development): LMM is training and buying supplies to outfit staff and volunteers that will travel within the downtown core on a regular basis doing outreach and inviting individuals experiencing homelessness out of the downtown core and into Base Camp services.

8. Downtown Clean-Up: LMM will serve as a catalyst to engage community groups, service groups, and local faith organizations that would like to engage with opportunities to pray for and clean up our downtown core, including alleyways. Lighthouse Mission Ministries has a certified Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) staff member that has designed Base Camp’s indoor and outdoor space using CPTED principles.

  • September Project: Alley Facelift & CPTED Evaluation — Clean, beautify, and enhance the alley between Cornwall & Railroad from Champion to Chestnut in the downtown area.
  • October Project: North by Northwest Alley clean-up and CPTED Evaluation.
  • Future Projects: List can be generated by NAF for community/LMM volunteer teams.

9. Downtown Bellingham Liaison: Ben Zobrist, the staff member tasked to help downtown residents and businesses engage with each other to identify potential issues and work cooperatively on solutions.  

10. Advantages Program (Piloting): The Mission is working with local retailers to donate small consumable items to Mission guests on an ‘at-will’ basis. LMM would utilize two sided signs (LMM YES & LMM) visible in the business window to signify three advantages:

A. LMM Advantage Members: Helps Mission guests through its programs/donations, services, samples, or other innovative ideas to create a culture of mutual respect and care between our homeless friends and neighbors and the downtown Bellingham community.

B. Mission Guests: When the  LMM YES is visible this signifies that Mission guests with an LMM ID card can receive a gift from that business during that time only. In the exchange the guest acknowledges that the downtown business is helping them and promises to adhere to the Base Camp Code of Conduct at this business as well as the following guidelines: 

Show your ID card when the LMM YES sign is displayed to receive the gift with a ‘Thank You.’ 

Be respectful of the property, other customers and staff.

Be reasonable with your length of stay.

When ‘LMM is displayed, be respectful of the fact that they are not able to give or host you at this moment. If you have funds to purchase from this ally retailer, still adhere to the Base Camp Code of Conduct.

C. Lighthouse Mission Volunteers, Donors and Staff: With the LMM ‘Notice’ in the window, our staff, volunteers, and donors know the owners and employees support the Mission and will be encouraged to support your business by frequenting it when downtown. Downtown Advantages Allies will have their business name and logo on our website with an invitation to shop local and often in our donor communications.

11. Community Resources:

  • Bellingham Police Department CPTED Site Evaluation: 

Officer Dearborn – North: (360) 778-8660

Officer Knutsen – South: (360) 778-8691

  • Homeless Outreach Team (HOT): 360-739-2921 (7am-5pm Monday-Friday)
  • LMM Outreach Team Number: 360-920-2891 (Monday-Friday Evenings)
  • LMM Downtown Bellingham Liaison: 360-483-9561
  • Bellingham Police Department: 

– Report a crime not in progress without a suspect: (360) 778-8804

– Report a crime not in progress with a suspect: (360) 676-6911

  • Encampment Clean-Up Coordinator – Claudia Vizcarra (BPD): 360-778-8756, cvizcarra@cob.org (Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7 A.M.- 5 P.M.) Online reporting: www.cob.org/camps

Download this evolving Good Neighbor Guide here. We will continue to update this guide as the project develops.

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