Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing, has released the following statement in recognition of Homelessness Action Week, Oct. 9-15, 2023:
“This Homelessness Action Week I’d like to recognize those individuals and organizations that dedicate their time to supporting people in their communities and help them find a place to call home. Thank you for the important work you do.
“The last few years have been challenging for people in our province, with the cost-of-living crisis hitting families hard. Our government is dedicated to building on our work with partners to respond to homelessness in our communities. Through our work, in collaboration with local governments, non-profits and Indigenous partners, 4,800 people have moved into supportive homes since we formed government. In 2022, we invested $633 million to take action against homelessness and this year we’re investing up to $1.5 billion through Budget 2023 in new initiatives aimed at helping prevent and reduce homelessness in the province.
“Belonging in BC is a collaborative plan to prevent and reduce homelessness. The plan adds 3,900 new supportive housing units and 240 complex-care spaces provincewide. The first phase of the Belonging in BC plan involves working with communities to better support those who are unhoused and sheltering in encampments.
“Through the Homeless Encampment Action Response Team (HEART), we’re helping people sheltering outdoors move inside. HEART will work to quickly assess the needs of people in encampments and to provide rapid access to the support services they need to exit homelessness. In addition, the Homeless Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing (HEARTH) program will provide emergency housing, sheltering options and immediate co-ordinated supports. We have seen success with these approaches and we hope to implement these programs in other communities this year.
“Thank you to all of our partners for your continued efforts and dedication to end homelessness. We must look after one another as we navigate the current challenges we face as a society.”