Responding to urgent need in the community, the Government of B.C. is reopening the shelter at 599 Gower Point Rd., providing people experiencing homelessness with warm, safe beds right where they live and without having to travel to Sechelt, the nearest major city.
In partnership with the Town of Gibsons and RainCity Housing, the Province is funding up to 15 shelter spaces at Christ the King Community Church. Beginning Dec. 12, the shelter will be open on a nightly basis from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. until March 31, 2019, and will provide hot meals as well as a warm, dry place to sleep.
The shelter will be managed by RainCity Housing, an experienced and trusted non-profit housing and shelter operator. Shelter staff will connect with all guests and can refer them to support services, such as addiction and mental health treatment for people who are willing and in need of assistance.
This new shelter is in addition to the existing 20-bed temporary shelter at 5653 Wharf Ave. in Sechelt, which has been the only shelter open, serving the entire Sunshine Coast area. The Sechelt shelter opened in December 2017 and has been running at or near capacity on a nightly basis.
More temporary shelters and extreme weather shelters may be added throughout the season as needed and where appropriate. These temporary shelter spaces supplement the almost 2,000 permanent, year-round shelter spaces available throughout British Columbia.
- Construction on 40 new supportive housing units in Sechelt is expected to begin in January 2019. These units will be available to those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. It is estimated these units could be open by Spring 2019.
- The goal of these projects is to help people stabilize their lives in a supportive environment where they will have the services they need and move on to more permanent housing.
- Through the Building BC Rapid Response to Homelessness program, the Province is investing $291 million to build 2,000 homes throughout B.C. and more than $170 million over three years for 24/7 staffing and support services. More than 2,000 of these homes have now been announced in 22 B.C. communities.
- The Province is also investing $1.2 billion over 10 years in the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, which will create 2,500 units of supportive housing for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
- The opening of temporary and extreme weather shelters build on the work government is doing to reduce poverty in British Columbia. In October 2018, the B.C. government introduced the Poverty Reduction Strategy Act. Informed by thousands of people who participated in a comprehensive public consultation, the act sets out targets and defines the scope of the poverty reduction strategy, which will be released in early 2019.