People in need of shelter in Vancouver will have access to additional shelter beds during the cold and wet winter months.
The B.C. government will provide $1.5 million in funding and the City of Vancouver will contribute up to $800,000 towards building operations for 170 temporary shelter beds, to give those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness a safe, warm place to stay.
The City of Vancouver has prepared shelter locations at 900 Pacific St. (50 beds) and 1648 East First Ave. (50 beds). The temporary shelters will be operated by RainCity Housing and Support Society. Existing Salvation Army facilities at 119 E. Cordova (40 beds) and 134 E. Cordova (30 beds) will also be used.
The shelters will operate from Dec. 1, 2015, to April 30, 2016, be open 24/7 (134 E. Cordova will provide overnight shelter) and provide three meals a day.
The provincially-funded Carnegie Outreach Team will also provide rental assistance and support services to help people who are homeless access stable, long-term housing.
The temporary winter shelters are in addition to the 740 permanent, year-round shelter spaces in Vancouver.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing –
“The most critical issue affecting people who are homeless is getting safe and warm shelter. Shelters provide a chance for those in need to stabilize and be connected to community services. These temporary shelters supplement the permanent, year-round spaces and new supportive housing we have opened in Vancouver.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver –
“Winter shelters save lives, and the City of Vancouver is continuing to take unprecedented action with our partners to secure housing for every person who faces homelessness on our streets. With the support of the Province, we will be able to bring 170 people in from the cold and connect them with the support they need to find more permanent housing. Since 2009, more than 1,000 people facing homelessness in shelters and on the street have been successfully transitioned into more permanent housing in Vancouver. We’re very pleased to see funding from the Province to support new winter shelters across the region, which is an important step to meet the urgent housing needs of many of our most vulnerable residents.”
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $4.4 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 102,500 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
- Last year, the Province provided $27 million for 740 permanent, year-round shelter spaces and homeless outreach in Vancouver.
- Last year, more than $125 million was spent to support more than 6,400 housing units for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness in Vancouver.
- Provincially, the B.C. government provided $71 million in funding last year for close to 1,740 permanent, year-round shelter beds in 34 communities.
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, please visit: www.bchousing.org
To learn more about services and supports for the homeless in Vancouver, please visit: http://www.housingmattersbc.ca/docs/fs_Homeless%20Supports_Vancouver.pdf
To see a map of permanent and temporary shelters in B.C., please visit: http://www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/Map
For more information on the City of Vancouver Winter Response Shelter Strategy: http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/winter-response-shelter-strategy.aspx