City of Vancouver opens additional washrooms for vulnerable residents

Mar 15 2021, 1:27 pm

Additional washroom facilities, as well as employment opportunities, have been rolled out for vulnerable residents in Vancouver’s downtown south and Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods.

The City of Vancouver has opened a new temporary washroom trailer, relocated an existing trailer, and will be installing an additional unit by the end of March.

The most recent facility opened on March 5 and is located at 1115 Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver, next to the Murray Hotel. An existing trailer was relocated from 62 East Hastings to 99 W Pender, and a third trailer will be installed in the downtown Eastside by the end of March.

The projects are part of the Canadian government’s Reaching Home Program and supported by three non-profit operators: Atira Property Management, WISH Drop-In, and Overdose Prevention Society. They’re operated and staffed by Atira and Overdose Prevention Society, and cleaned by staff and peers from Mission Possible, an economic development agency.

In early February, the City received $4.9 million in federal funding, which was to be used to support the city’s most marginalized residents.

Washroom trailers are equipped with five stalls, free menstrual products and needle collection containers, as well as overdose prevention, peer witnessing, and response monitoring.

Each location is operated and managed by a different non-profit between 8 am and 8 pm, and the trailers will be in place until at least December of this year.

“COVID-19 has magnified just how vital it is to have access to safe and dignified washrooms, and we are pleased to be opening these additional washroom trailer programs to meet that need,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart in a statement.

Three existing washroom trailers have also benefited from the $4.9 million in funding — located at the WISH Drop-In (334 Alexander Street), Overdose Prevention Society (formerly 62 E Hastings Street), and Kingsway Charge of the Nazarene (998 E 19th Avenue).

The following four washrooms also had extended hours implemented:

  • Gathering Place – 998 E 19th Avenue (9 am to 11:45 pm)
  • David Lam Park – 1300 Pacific Boulevard (6 am to 11 pm)
  • English Bay Beach – 1790 Beach Avenue (6 am to 11 pm)
  • Park Sunset Beach – 1204 Beach Avenue (6 am to 11 pm)

$1.8 million of the funding will go towards the lease and renovation costs of a new 60-bed shelter.

The City of Vancouver announced earlier that it was currently waiting for confirmation of provincial operating funding of this location as well as several other options to assist residents that are experiencing homelessness.

Vincent PlanaVincent Plana

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