The City of Vancouver is opening a new temporary homeless shelter in East Vancouver as part of this upcoming winter’s strategy to find indoor shelters for the homeless.
RainCity Housing and Support Society will operate a new 50-bed shelter at 1648 East 1st Avenue, an 8,000-square-foot building that is currently in the market for redevelopment. The shelter is located along the Commercial Drive corridor and will be aimed at serving the area’s homeless youth.
The not-for-profit housing organization is also reopening a City-funded 50-bed shelter at 900 Pacific Street, the former Kettle of Fish restaurant at the north end of the Burrard Street Bridge.
Other temperature shelters that will be used include the Salvation Army’s facilities at 119 East Cordova Street (40 beds) and 134 East Cordova (30 beds).
“Winter shelters save lives, and the City of Vancouver is continuing to take unprecedented action with our partners to secure housing for every person who faces homelessness on our streets,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement. “With the support of the Province, we will be able to bring 170 people in from the cold and connect them with the support they need to find more permanent housing.”
$2.3 million in public funding, with $1.5 million from the provincial government and another $800,000 from the City of Vancouver, has been allocated to allow these shelters to operate 24/7 from December 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016. It provides occupants with a warm place to stay and three meals a day during the wet and cold winter months.
These temporary shelters supplement Vancouver’s existing permanent, year-round shelters, which provides a total capacity of 740 beds.