The Province and the City of Vancouver will share costs and open two new temporary shelters in Vancouver over the next few weeks.
Forty beds will be available at 1442 Howe Street under the Granville Street Bridge and a 50-bed facility will open in mid-December in the former nurses' residence at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital at 3080 Prince Edward Street.
The Province will spend more than $1 million to fund the new shelters. The City will contribute $500 thousand for capital costs and programming at the shelters.
RainCity will operate the Howe Street shelter that will primarily serve a younger street homeless population in the downtown and west-end neighbourhoods. The operator for the Mount Saint Joseph location will be announced later this week.
Since November, the Province has already opened a 26-bed women-only shelter and 42 interim shelter spaces will open in mid-December at the Marble Arch Hotel. With the addition of these two interim shelter facilities, the provincial government has provided an extra 158 shelter spaces in the City of Vancouver this winter. Another 58 rooms will open in provincially owned SRO hotels by mid-December following renovations.
In another partnership with the City, the Province has opened 309 new supportive apartments in Vancouver since April this year - 389 have opened since the beginning of the year. Over the next two years, another 1,100 units of supportive housing are scheduled to open in Vancouver.
Dianne Doyle, president and CEO, Providence Health Care -
"Working with partners to address the needs of society's most vulnerable populations is consistent with Providence's mission, values and history. As the operator of Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, we are extremely pleased to be involved in this important initiative and appreciate the leadership demonstrated by the Province and the City of Vancouver in addressing this crucial community need."
The Province has made significant investments in Vancouver over the last few years to help end homelessness - from expanded emergency shelter services to Single Room Occupancy Hotels through to new supportive housing:
- Approximately $20 million annually to make more than 1,300 shelter spaces available in Vancouver.
- $150 million to purchase and renovate 24 Single Room Occupancy Hotels (SROs) - 23 of which are in the Downtown Eastside - protecting more than 1,400 units of affordable housing for low-income individuals.
- $300 million to work in partnership with the City of Vancouver and non-profit groups to build 1,570 new supportive housing units.
More than $230,000 has been provided to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre operating the at the Life Skills Centre (412 E. Cordova) so it can extend its hours from 11 p.m. - 8 a.m. daily, to 6 p.m. - 10 a.m. Monday-Friday and 24/7 on weekends.
The Province provides $900,000 in annual funding for homeless outreach so that community agencies can connect people who are homeless with shelters, housing and support services. Last year (2010-11) permanent housing was found for 1,477 shelter and outreach clients in the Downtown Eastside area.
In total, the Province invests approximately $140 million annually in Vancouver to provide emergency shelter services, subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 25,000 low-income individuals, seniors and families.
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, visit: www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/PHI
Get more details on Provincial Emergency Shelters and Services for the Homeless in Vancouver at: www.housing.gov.bc.ca/info/fs/FS_ShelterServicesVancouver.pdf
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