The B.C. government and the City of Vancouver are opening additional winter emergency shelter spaces and adding more long-term housing supports for people who are homeless.
Two temporary winter shelters, operated by Rain City Housing, will offer 75 additional spaces for the homeless between early December and April 30, 2014. The Province will provide funding to operate the shelters and outreach services; the City will provide the buildings at 820 Richards St. & 21 E. 5th Avenue and lead community awareness for the sites.
Over the last five years, almost 500 people have transitioned from the Winter Response shelters into permanent housing.
The Province will also provide up to $300,000 to Carnegie Outreach Services for 40 rent supplements and support services to help people who are homeless access housing in the private market.
To further help people transition from shelters into housing, the City has purchased the former Ramada Inn Hotel on East Hastings and will re-open it as 40 units of interim housing. Tenants will come from Vancouver shelters, to ensure more spaces are available for those in need. The Province will contribute $100,000 to this program, which will operate until fall 2014 when more new supportive housing units are open.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and responsible for Housing -
"This year we added new options to our winter response strategy in Vancouver. With the addition of 75 shelter spaces, outreach teams and rent assistance we can meet a greater range of needs in the community. These options supplement the permanent year-round spaces and new supportive housing we have opened in Vancouver and provide a bridge while we complete the remaining supportive housing sites we are building in the city."
Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of
"Our winter response shelters are a proven program to help our most vulnerable citizen's transition into stable, permanent housing. By providing two daily meals, a warm place to sleep and connecting residents with outreach workers, these shelters have a positive impact in changing people's lives. Our partnership with the Province continues to deliver results as we work towards ensuring no one has to be homeless in Vancouver."
- Currently, there are more than 840 permanent, year-round shelter beds and approximately 200 temporary year-round HEAT shelter beds in Vancouver.
- The B.C. government spends close to $27 million annually to fund services for Vancouver's homeless. This includes permanent and temporary shelters as well as homeless outreach.
- Last fiscal year, approximately $80 million was provided to ensure that emergency shelters are available in communities across B.C. This includes permanent, year-round shelter beds as well as extreme weather and temporary shelter spaces.
- Over $70 million funds more than 1,800 permanent year-round shelter beds in 33 communities - almost double the number that existed in 2001.
- Funding increases since 2007 mean that most shelters are now open 24/7 - people do not have to line up at night - they can remain safe and stable while being connected to community services including more stable housing.
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, please visit: www.bchousing.org
To learn more about programs and services offered by the City of Vancouver, please visit: www.vancouver.ca.
City of Vancouver