This afternoon the second of four City of Vancouver temporary winter shelters, at 747 Cardero St., closed as scheduled.
When the shelter stopped accepting new residents on April 1, there were 43 people staying there. Of these 43 people, 23 accepted housing offers, 11 went to other housing options or made their own arrangements, and nine declined offers of housing assistance.
Two other shelters, at 677 E. Broadway and 1442 Howe St., will be closing in the coming days. Of the people remaining at these shelters, 19 have accepted housing offers, or have other housing options or have made their own arrangements, nine have declined offers of assistance, and 13 housing offers are pending.
At the fourth temporary winter emergency shelter that closed last week, at 1642 W. 4th, 13 people accepted housing offers, and 17 others went to other housing options or made their own arrangements.
The Province and the City jointly committed to these neighbourhood-based shelters operating for a fixed term of 120 days until the end of April, and the City's development permits were specifically issued for that time period. These were clearly identified as temporary winter response shelters, just like they were last year. These four shelters also closed last April.
The Province continues to support the operation of more than 650 year-round emergency shelter beds in Vancouver, with $17 million in annual funding. This is nearly double the number of year-round beds that were available in 2005, when the Province provided over $5 million for the operation of 331 year-round beds in Vancouver.
Last week the Province announced a $12-million provincial investment at the opening of the new, expanded Union Gospel Mission facility, with an increased capacity of 100 additional shelter beds and supportive housing units, for a total of 183 beds and apartments.
In addition, earlier this week a two-month funding extension was announced for the 40-bed Stanley/New Fountain shelter, one of the original HEAT shelters that first opened in 2008. More than 300 new, permanent supportive housing apartments will come on-stream in Vancouver during this two-month period.
These apartments are part of the provincial investment of over $300 million toward 1,530 new supportive housing apartments on 14 sites in Vancouver. Approximately 570 of these apartments will be completed and available by the end of 2011.
Connect with the Province of B.C. at www.gov.bc.ca/connect