Murray Rankin, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, has issued the following statement in recognition of Homelessness Action Week, Oct. 9-15, 2022:
“By proclaiming Homelessness Action Week in B.C., the Province acknowledges the tireless work of organizations and advocates to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness, which has only proven more difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the toxic-drug and affordable-housing crises. I would also like to acknowledge those currently struggling with homelessness, and peers providing supports in unhoused communities. Our government recognizes the disproportionate impacts of colonization on Indigenous Peoples experiencing homelessness, and the impacts of systemic discrimination and racism.
“As a government, we’re committed to building on the work we have seen in our response to homelessness, while working in partnership to create long-term solutions to prevent homelessness before it happens. This year, we committed $633 million in Budget 2022 for complex-care housing, increased supports for young people in and transitioning from government care, rent supplements with health, housing and social supports, and permanent housing for up to 3,000 people in temporary COVID-19 spaces.
“These actions build on substantial investments in housing and social services. Through our 10-year housing plan, Homes for BC, we’ve worked with our partners, including the federal and local governments, non-profit organizations and health authorities, to help more than 4,700 people who were experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness move into new supportive housing since 2017. Another 2,300 supportive homes are underway for people throughout the province.
“We know there is more work to do to help unhoused or precariously housed British Columbians find a stable home that works for them. Government continues to use groundbreaking data that is helping us understand, for the first time, how many people in our province experienced homelessness at any point in a year to get a more complete picture of who is experiencing homelessness and how to address it more effectively.
“I want to thank all our partners, including outreach workers, non-profit organizations and front-line service providers, as well as those with lived experience, for their dedication and efforts to create long-term solutions to the systemic problems facing people who are homeless. Our government is committed to continuing to work side by side with you to make meaningful change in our province.”