Former Army & Navy store amongst two new Vancouver homeless shelter sites

Feb 22 2021, 2:16 pm

Today, the provincial government announced its plans to open two new additional homeless shelters by the end of April to directly address the Strathcona Park encampment.

There will be a 60-bed shelter at 15-27 West Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside, which will occupy the space vacated by Army & Navy. Unable to survive the economic effects of COVID-19, the store permanently shuttered last year after more than a century of operation.

Another shelter will open at 875 Terminal Avenue, just north of Home Depot, in the False Creek Flats. This location is a city-owned warehouse building.

“These new shelter spaces will provide 120 people with a bed and supports to help them stay safe, warm, fed and alive, while we continue to work with our partners to open permanent supportive housing across the city,” said David Eby, the Attorney General and Minister responsible for Housing, in a statement.

“This is part of our response to Strathcona, but there will be more to come. I am very grateful to everyone in Vancouver for pulling together to address this ongoing and unacceptable crisis in our city.”

875 Terminal Avenue Vancouver

875 Terminal Avenue, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

Both 24/7 shelters are intended to be temporary but key measures to put an end to the encampment at Strathcona Park. It also aligns with the provincial government’s previously stated timeline of terminating the encampment by April.

The locations will undergo renovations to be used as shelters for those experiencing homelessness, which will have access to daily healthy meals, access to laundry and showers, assistance with filling out housing application forms, and referral to community and health services. The provincial government is providing operating funding for both shelters.

Additionally, the provincial government is also funding 30 new rental supplements for people who require fewer support services and can move from supportive housing into private rental properties. This will free up spaces in supportive housing buildings, allowing people experiencing homelessness in shelters to move into the vacated units.

It is estimated there are roughly 200 people camping at Strathcona Park, which first began in June 2020 as the relocated remnants of the previous Oppenheimer Park and Crab Park encampments.

The city is also looking to turn Jericho Hostel at Jericho Beach Park and the city-owned 2400 Motel into homeless shelters for the decampment of Strathcona Park.

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