The City of Vancouver announced today they are adding an additional 60 temporary shelter spaces for homeless people during the cold winter months.
The spaces will be open by early January and will operate until March. Spaces will be provided by the Portland Hotel Society, United Gospel Mission, and Directions at the following locations:
- 10 spaces for youth on Burrard Street
- 20 spaces for men on East Hastings Street
- 30 Spaces for men and women in the Downtown Eastside community
The city will be funnelling $125,000 into the operation of the additional shelter spaces. The city says homeless youth are the most vulnerable population and at last count, there were over 200 homeless people under the age of 24 in Vancouver.
“In a city as compassionate and prosperous as Vancouver, no one should ever be forced to sleep on the street – and today’s announcement of 60 new shelter beds is a very important addition to our work together to end street homelessness,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement.
“Shelter spaces have helped to transition over 1,000 of our most vulnerable residents into more permanent forms of housing in recent years. These new beds will provide a safe and warm place to sleep, and a vital connection to urgently needed support services and new housing.”
Last year alone, temporary shelter spaces helped transition 79 homeless people into permanent housing.
When temporary shelter spaces opened for the winter earlier in December, they were at capacity within hours and had to turn people away.
The province is investing $300 million into the creation of more than 1,500 new supportive shelter units in Vancouver. Last year, the B.C. government invested $1.5 million into the creation of temporary shelter spaces in over 100 communities across the province.
The provincial investment is in addition to an $85 million investment from the city to build more social housing.