The B.C. government is funding the opening of an additional 30 shelter beds for men at the Harbour Lights complex in Vancouver operated by the Salvation Army, effective today.
The Province is opening these beds at the Harbour Lights shelter earlier than usual this year to provide more options for people currently staying in Oppenheimer Park.
The beds will be open 24/7 through to the end of March as part of the provincial government’s winter response strategy in the City of Vancouver. This multi-year operation has helped over 500 individuals transition into long-term housing by giving them access to shelter and community services during the winter months.
As well, the B.C. government has provided Carnegie Centre, the Homeless Outreach Program provider in Vancouver, with additional rent supplements since the establishment of the Oppenheimer Park camp. A special allocation of 20 rent supplements has been created to address the needs of women who may be staying in the park.
The Province has been working with homeless outreach service providers to offer shelter to anyone at the camp who is homeless. This has resulted in housing being found for 50 people since the camp began in July.
The provincial government remains in discussion with the City of Vancouver about further winter response options. A community consultation process will take place before any additional shelter options funded by the Province open in the city.
- In 2013, the B.C. government invested over $112 million to provide affordable housing in Vancouver, including $86.2 million to address homelessness in Vancouver.
- Last year, the B.C. government provided approximately $27 million for over 750 permanent year-round homeless shelter spaces in the City of Vancouver.
- The Province continues to provide $4 million to fund approximately 200 year-round emergency shelter spaces in Vancouver.
- Last winter, 260 spaces were available across Vancouver to increase emergency shelter space when extreme weather conditions threaten people’s safety and health.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has developed and preserved more than 6,900 units of housing in the City of Vancouver. Close to 3,500 of these units are for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- Provincially, more than 100,000 B.C. households benefit from a range of provincial housing services each year.
- Last year, the B.C. government invested $169 million on more than 11,000 emergency shelter and housing for the homeless across the province.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $4 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families in communities across the province.
To learn more about services and supports for the homeless in Vancouver, please visit: http://www.housingmattersbc.ca/docs/fs_Homeless_Supports_Vancouver.pdf