PEOPLE experiencing homelessness in Vancouver, including those camping at Oppenheimer Park, will continue to have access to nearly 240 shelter beds, which would normally have closed on March 31.
The Province has approved an additional $3.1 million in operating funding to keep the following eight temporary shelters in the city open for the next 12 months, until March 31, 2020:
* 20 beds at 828 Cambie Street – open 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.
* 12 beds at 1138 Burrard Street – open 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
* 40 beds (increase of 10 beds) at 1060 Howe Street – open 4 p.m. to 10 a.m.
* 16 beds at 131 Dunlevy Avenue – open 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.
* 40 beds at 134 E Cordova Street – open 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
* 30 beds at 138 E Cordova Street – open 24/7
* 40 beds at 1401 Hornby Street – open 24/7
* 40 beds at 1648 East 1st Avenue – open 24/7 (open at this location until June 2019)
BC Housing, the city and shelter operators regularly monitor capacity levels at all shelters in the community. As the permanent year-round shelters are currently operating at full capacity, extending operation of these temporary spaces is critical and will provide continued shelter options for people living on the streets and those at risk of homelessness.
The city’s homelessness outreach team will continue to work with operators to provide support to guests at shelter sites and ensure residents are connected to income assistance and relevant health supports, and have access to housing.
The extension to these shelter spaces is one part of the Province’s strategy to address homelessness in Vancouver. The Province, in partnership with the City of Vancouver and non-profit housing providers, has also opened 606 new modular supportive housing units over the past year as part of the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program.
In addition to the temporary shelters, there are 940 permanent shelter spaces in Vancouver currently in operation and 120 extreme-weather response spaces, which open during periods of severe weather. The city also opens warming centres as a life-saving measure for people sleeping outside, allowing them to come indoors when the temperature reaches -5 degrees or feels like -5 degrees.
While access to shelter is critical to ensure the safety of those experiencing homelessness, the Province and city remain committed to delivering more affordable housing to meet the need of people in Vancouver. In the last 18 months, in addition to the modular buildings now open, work has started on more than 2,450 new affordable rental homes in Vancouver as part of the Province’s investments in affordable housing, some of which include shelter-rate units.
To see a map of permanent, temporary and extreme weather response shelters in B.C., visit: http://www.bchousing.org/