As temperatures dip, the Province is preparing for the increased demand for shelter spaces in Vancouver by implementing its winter shelter plan.
Close to 230 Extreme Weather Response (EWR) shelter beds are ready to be activated in Vancouver if conditions threaten the health and safety of homeless individuals.
These spaces provide a safe, warm place to stay and are spread across eight locations in the city. The spaces are activated when the community issues an extreme weather alert. The community decides what weather conditions warrant an alert and how many spaces to activate on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need.
Another 170 temporary shelter beds are opening up in the city and will be available 24/7 through the cold and wet winter months.
Four temporary winter shelters will operate until April 30, 2016 and provide three meals a day at the following locations:
- 119 E. Cordova (40 beds) – now open
- 134 E. Cordova (30 beds) – now open
- 900 Pacific St. (50 beds) – opening Nov. 30
- 1648 East First Ave. (50 beds) – opening Dec. 5
If someone shows up and a shelter is full, they are provided with support, such as meals, while an alternative shelter space can be found.
The temporary winter shelters are in addition to the 740 permanent, year-round shelter spaces in Vancouver.
A list of all Extreme Weather Response shelter spaces is available at: http://www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/EXR
To receive notifications on when communities are issuing extreme weather alerts, please follow BC Housing on Twitter: @BC_Housing (twitter.com)
A list of permanent shelter spaces is available at: http://www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/ESP
For more information on provincial affordable housing programs and efforts to end homelessness in B.C., please visit: http://www.housingmattersbc.ca/factsheets.html