Vancouver's winter shelters get $1.7 million from City and province

Nov 17 2016, 5:02 am

A partnership between the BC government and the City of Vancouver means more shelter space for the community’s most vulnerable people this winter.

With the province pitching in approximately $1.2 million, and the City giving $500,000, some 192 winter response shelter spaces in six different locations are almost all open.

In a release, Minister of Housing Rich Coleman said shelters “play a key role in addressing homelessness in the province.”

Shelter users will be provided with meals, have access to health services, and be directed to programs that can assist in finding more permanent, stable housing.

“We’re looking forward to building relationships with people who’ve been living on the street and connecting them with services and permanent housing,” said Greg Richmond, co-executive director of RainCity Housing.

The winter response shelters are in addition to the 957 already permanent, year-round shelter spaces in Vancouver.

“Emergency shelters fill a critical gap in making sure people reconnected with outreach workers and services that will support transition into safe, stable, permanent housing,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“These winter shelters aren’t a permanent solution but… our partnership with the province is a first step in making a real difference in getting people off the streets and into more permanent homes.”

Five of the six winter shelters – which have between 12 and 40 beds each – have already opened for the season, with the final one at 1401 Hornby Street slated to open on December 1.

The other locations are:

  • 134 East Cordova St. (40 beds)
  • 119 East Cordova St.  (30 beds)
  • 49 West Cordova St. (30 beds)
  • 1648 East 1st St. (40 beds)
  • 1138  Burrard St. (12 beds for youth only)

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