People in need of a warm, safe place to go during the months ahead will have access to additional emergency shelter spaces through the Province’s temporary and extreme weather response shelter programs.
“During the colder months, it’s important that people experiencing homelessness in our province know that there is a place they can go to get warm and find supports and services that can help them stabilize their lives,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “As we continue the work of building permanent housing, we’re proud to work in partnership with communities and non-profit housing providers to provide these shelter spaces.”
This season, the Province will open almost 1,355 temporary shelter spaces and over 820 extreme weather response shelter spaces. These emergency shelters supplement the more than 2,000 permanent, year-round emergency shelter spaces. The Province will continue to work with municipalities and communities to increase temporary and extreme weather spaces this winter.
Temporary shelters will be open every night for the season. Many will be open 24/7 and offer meals. Some temporary shelters have already opened, with more to come later this season.
Extreme weather response shelters will be available from Nov. 1, 2019 until March 31, 2020. Individual communities establish a plan of the weather conditions that warrant an extreme weather alert and determine the number of spaces to activate on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need.
These emergency shelter programs work with communities and non-profits throughout B.C. to provide temporary but immediate places to stay for anyone who is experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
A current list of temporary and extreme weather response shelters by community is included in the backgrounder below.
- The Province, through BC Housing, has opened more than 2,000 units of supportive housing, with an additional 800 underway. These developments are part of the government's Homes for BC housing plan to build a total of 4,700 units of supportive housing over 10 years.
To learn more about the Province’s emergency shelter program, visit: www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/homelessness-services/emergency-shelter-program
To see a map of permanent and temporary shelters in B.C., visit: www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/Map
A backgrounder follows.