The Province and the City of Vancouver are partnering to provide approximately $125,000 each to fund an additional 60 overnight temporary winter shelter spaces in Vancouver.
This will bring the total number of temporary shelter spaces to approximately 230 in the city.
Three non-profit providers: United Gospel Mission, Portland Hotel Society and Directions have been identified to operate the shelter spaces, opening by early January and operating until the end of March 2016 at the following locations:
- Ten spaces for youth on Burrard St.
- 20 spaces for men on East Hastings St.
- 30 spaces for men and women in the Downtown Eastside community.
The 60 additional shelter beds will include 10 spaces for homeless youth, who are among the most-vulnerable people within the homeless population. The 2015 Vancouver Homeless Count identified approximately 200 homeless youth under the age of 24.
The Province continues to make significant investments in Vancouver to help those who are homeless find shelter and move off the streets permanently. This includes $300 million to work in partnership with the City of Vancouver to build more than 1,500 new supportive housing units. Shelters allow people facing homelessness to connect with staff who can provide them with support and services. Last year’s winter shelters helped 79 homeless residents transition into permanent housing.
The City of Vancouver is committed to ending street homelessness in Vancouver and has dedicated $85 million from the Capital Plan to enable the creation of 2,550 new supportive and social housing units.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing –
“The Province’s goal is to make sure everyone has a safe, warm place to stay during the winter months and these additional spaces will give 60 more individuals that opportunity. Shelter for those who are homeless is a priority for our government and we continue to work to address the issue, particularly at this time of year.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver –
“In a city as compassionate and prosperous as Vancouver, no one should ever be forced to sleep on the street – and today's announcement of 60 new shelter beds is a very important addition to our work together to end street homelessness. Shelter spaces have helped to transition over 1,000 of our most vulnerable residents into more permanent forms of housing in recent years. These new beds will provide a safe and warm place to sleep, and a vital connection to urgently needed support services and new housing.”
- Last year, the B.C. government invested over $148 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 27,100 low-income individuals, seniors and families in Vancouver.
- Last winter, approximately $1.5 million in funding was invested by the Province to create more than 1,220 Extreme Weather Response spaces in over 100 communities.
- The Province provided more than $125 million to the City of Vancouver last year to support more than 6,400 housing units through rental supplements, emergency shelter and housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, please visit: www.bchousing.org
For more information on the City of Vancouver Winter Response Shelter Strategy: http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/winter-response-shelter-strategy.aspx