11:56 AM

Additional shelter beds coming for people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver

VANCOUVER - People experiencing homelessness in Vancouver will have access to safe and secure places to stay with the addition of two shelters in the community.

“These additional shelter beds will give people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver supports and a safe place to stay,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We are committed to delivering more supports through our Belonging in BC homelessness plan, so that people have a roof over their head. The addition of these shelter beds means that more people sheltering outdoors can have safe and warm places to stay with connections to appropriate supports.”

Located at 325 Main St., a new shelter has temporarily opened, providing 20 beds that will be available every night for people sheltering outdoors. People staying at the shelter will also be able to access personalized help, connecting them to referrals and support services.

“These shelter spaces are much needed for people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver,” said Joan Phillip, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “Access to these beds and supports is necessary, so people remain safe and healthy. The resources that will be available to them will aid them in their recovery.”

Operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society on a short-term lease until May 31, 2024, the shelter will help address the immediate shelter need in the community, while other housing options are underway. The Province, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $350,000 to operate the space until the lease expires.

“Unfortunately, there is a tremendous need for additional shelter beds in the region and across the city of Vancouver,” said Shayne Williams, CEO of Lookout. “Lookout is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to bring more people in from the inclement weather, while also furthering services options for specialized populations, including women and transgender individuals.”

In addition to this shelter, the Province, through BC Housing, has purchased a building located at 1726 E. Hastings St. Renovations to the property are underway and as many as 40 additional shelter beds will be available by the end of 2024. Through the Supportive Housing Fund, the Province is providing approximately $7.4 million to purchase and renovate the building.

The Province, through BC Housing, is working to expand shelter capacity in Vancouver through these projects and other investments. While shelters provide immediate relief to people experiencing homelessness, these are not a long-term solution to the homelessness crisis. Through the Belonging in BC homelessness plan, it is the government’s goal to move people into permanent, stable housing.

Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including nearly 8,000 in Vancouver.

Learn More:

To read Belonging in BC plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BelongingStrategy.pdf

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for people in British Columbia, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/