A joint effort between BC Housing and the provincial government has resulted in more than 900 spaces for vulnerable residents across British Columbia.
On Tuesday morning, the Ministry of Municipal Housing and Affairs said that more than 23 sites had been secured from around the province, including hotels, motels, and community centres.
The housing will benefit people struggling with homelessness, youth, and people who don’t have safe spaces to self-isolate from others.
We are opening more than 900 spaces in hotels, motels and other sites in 11 BC communities – offering to vulnerable individuals and those experiencing homelessness in need of safe spaces to self-isolate. https://t.co/Yn3mb7irV9 pic.twitter.com/I9G82LFqeE
— BC Housing (@BC_Housing) April 7, 2020
Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said that these living areas are critical for preventing further community spread.
“These new spaces are a critical part of how we can support those who are vulnerable in our community, including those who are experiencing homelessness or living in communal locations where the virus could spread more quickly,” she wrote in a statement. “In partnership with health authorities and local government, these new spaces are helping us mitigate the effect of this virus and support our health-care system in communities across the province.”
Some of the hotels are reserved for individuals that have coronavirus and need a space to self-isolate while they recover.
There are also a number of spaces allocated for patients that are discharged from hospitals with non-coronavirus symptoms but still require ongoing health care. This, in turn, frees up additional space in hospitals.
Hotels, motels, and community centres are being managed on a day-to-day basis by non-profit societies. Healthcare workers are also providing on-site care when required.
Authorities say that they will be able to secure more living areas if necessary.
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In March, the City of Vancouver announced that it would be opening two community centres to residents of the Downtown Eastside. The centres at Coal Harbour and Yaletown-Roundhouse have been activated as referral-only response centres and have a combined capacity of 160.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart also announced that hygiene stations were expanded in downtown Vancouver, and that contracts have been supplied to provide cleaning and food delivery to privately-owned SROs.