More indoor shelter spaces open ahead of winter
VICTORIA - Thousands of people experiencing homelessness will have access to warm, safe spaces to stay as colder weather arrives in communities throughout British Columbia.
The Province, through BC Housing, is funding 5,000 shelter spaces in 50 communities throughout B.C., including permanent, temporary and extreme weather-response (EWR) shelters. There are three types of shelters throughout B.C.:
- Permanent shelters: These shelters are typically open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, regardless of the weather. There are 3,968 permanent shelter spaces operating throughout B.C.
- Temporary shelters: These shelters are open every night. Most shelters operate 24 hours a day with meals provided. Some temporary shelters are seasonal and operate until March 31, 2024, or April 30, 2024. There will be 512 temporary shelter spaces open throughout B.C., as of Nov. 1, 2023.
- Extreme weather-response (EWR) shelters: These 520 spaces open overnight when a community issues an extreme weather alert, such as during cold temperatures, snow or heavy rain. Communities determine what weather conditions necessitate an extreme weather alert in co-ordination with BC Housing. The EWR program is available from Oct. 15, 2023, until April 15, 2024.
In the coming weeks, BC Housing will finalize operating agreements to open more shelter spaces this season, as communities identify additional sites.
Given the extreme cold temperatures common in northern B.C., BC Housing has worked with providers to convert 135 temporary spaces into permanent, year-round shelters in northern communities so that more spaces are open nightly for the winter season and beyond.
Since last year, BC Housing has converted 1,652 temporary shelter spaces into permanent shelter spaces, providing continuity in funding to support a more sustainable approach to managing capacity pressures. Shelter programs are made possible through partnerships with communities and non-profit groups throughout the province to provide immediate places to stay for anyone who is experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Additionally, through the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, the Province provides reimbursements to local authorities and First Nations for opening emergency-warming centres during extreme weather. Warming centres help people warm up during cold weather and provide information about how to safely stay warm. Communities may be reimbursed for costs to establish warming centres, including facility rental and incremental utility costs.
While shelters provide immediate relief to people experiencing homelessness and benefit the community by bringing residents indoors, they are only one part of the housing system. Moving people into permanent, stable housing benefits everyone in the community. This is why, since 2017, the Province has nearly 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including more than 7,000 supportive homes.
To see a map of all permanent, temporary and EWR shelters throughout communities in B.C., visit: https://smap.bchousing.org/
For the most current information about warming centres in their area, people are encouraged to visit their local community website, X (formerly Twitter) or Facebook.
A backgrounder follows.
Shelter spaces opening for winter
The Province, through BC Housing, is funding 5,000 shelter spaces in 50 communities throughout the province this winter, including permanent, temporary and extreme-weather response (EWR) shelters.
Listed below are the shelter spaces that will open in six of B.C.'s major cities as of Nov. 1, 2023, with more shelters expected to open in the coming months. For a full list of shelters throughout B.C., visit: https://smap.bchousing.org/
Shelter information is updated daily. For shelter bed availability, people are encouraged to reach out to their local shelter.
Shelters - 240 spaces:
- Emerald Centre, 259 Victoria St., 40 year-round spaces
- Merit Place, 715 Notre Dame Dr., 50 year-round spaces
- Moira House, 600 Kingston Ave., 41 year-round spaces
- Mustard Seed Shelter, 181 Victoria St. West, 22 year-round spaces
- Harbour Shelter (women-only), 181 Victoria St. West, 12 year-round spaces
- Stuart Wood, 245 St Paul St, 25 temporary spaces
- Yacht Club, 1140 River St, 20 temporary spaces
- Kamloops Alliance Church, 200 Leigh Rd., 30 extreme weather response spaces
Shelters - 270 spaces
- Richter Street Shelter, 1083 Richter St., 50 year-round spaces
- Cornerstone Shelter, 425 Leon Ave., 80 year-round spaces
- Bay Avenue Shelter, 858 Ellis St., 60 temporary spaces
- Kelowna Gospel Mission, 251 Leon Ave., 60 year-round spaces
- Alexandra Gardner Safe Centre, 2609 Richter St., 20 year-round spaces
Shelters - 140 spaces:
- AWAC Women's Shelter, 144 George St., 40 year-round spaces
- Ketso Yoh Centre Men's Hostel, 140 Quebec St., 30 year-round spaces
- Second Avenue Shelter, 1151 2nd Ave., 30 year-round spaces
- Bridget Moran Place, 1188 6th Avenue. 45 year-round spaces
Shelters - 530 spaces:
- Shimai House, 13327 100A Ave., six extreme weather response spaces
- PCRS, 10453 Whalley Blvd., 10 extreme weather response spaces
- SUMs Nourish, 13539 King George Blvd., 15 extreme weather response spaces
- SUMs NightShift, 10635 King George Blvd., 15 extreme weather response spaces
- Lookout Surrey Alliance, 13474 96 Ave., 30 extreme weather response spaces
- Surrey Cloverdale, 5337 180 St., 25 extreme weather response spaces
- Lookout Guildford, 14716 104 Ave., 46 year-round spaces
- Lookout Parkway, 10667 135A St., 40 year-round spaces
- Surrey Urban Mission,10776 King George Blvd., 40 year-round spaces
- The Cove, 10607 King George Blvd., 42 year-round spaces
- The Olive Branch, 10731 City Parkway, 45 year-round spaces
- Rosewood Shelter, 9683 137 St., 60 year-round spaces
- Sheena's Place, 13474 112A Ave., 10 year-round spaces
- Cynthia's Place, 14337/14347 108 Ave., 18 year-round spaces
- Lookout Gateway Shelter and Outreach, 10667 135A St., 40 year-round spaces
- Hyland House, 6595 King George Blvd., 45 year-round spaces
- Bill Reid Place, 17910 Colebrook Rd., 16 year-round spaces
- Foxglove Shelter, 9810 Foxglove Dr., 27 year-round spaces
Shelters - 1,472 spaces:
- Directions Youth Resource Centre, 1138 Burrard St., 10 extreme weather response spaces
- Belkin House, 555 Homer St., 20 extreme weather response spaces
- Covenant House, 1280 Seymour St., 10 extreme weather response spaces
- Lookout Commercial Hastings, 1738 E Hastings St., 20 temporary spaces
- Harbour Light 119 East Cordova St., 40 temporary spaces
- Gathering Place, 609 Helmcken St., 34 temporary spaces
- Directions Youth Services Centre, 1138 Burrard St. 12 temporary spaces
- 1660 East Hastings St., 100 temporary spaces
- Sisters Shelter, 131 Dunlevy Ave., 16 year-round spaces
- Sisterhood, 342 Alexander St., 21 year-round spaces
- Kye7e, 172 Cordova St. E., 10 year-round spaces
- 1401 Hornby St., 52 year-round spaces
- Metson, 1060 Howe St., 38 year-round spaces
- Lookout Walton Hotel, 261 Hastings St. E., 15 year-round spaces
- Klahowya at Terminal, 875 Terminal Ave., 60 year-round spaces
- Osborn, 15 Hastings Street W., 80 year-round spaces
- 398 Powell St., 11 year-round spaces
- 265 Hastings St. E., 31 year-round spaces
- WISH, 340 Alexander St., 23 year-round spaces
- Catholic Charities Men's Hostel, 1056 Comox St., 108 year-round spaces
- Covenant House, 1280 Seymour St., 60 year-round spaces
- First United Church Shelter, 467 Alexander St., 51 year-round spaces
- Lookout Yukon St Shelter, 2088 Yukon St., 71 year-round spaces
- Lookout Al Mitchell Shelter, 346 Alexander St., 46 year-round spaces
- The Lark, 103 Hastings St. East, 14 year-round spaces
- New Fountain Shelter, 356 East Hastings, 60 year-round spaces
- RainCity HPP & Triage Emergency Shelter, 707 Powell St., 28 year-round spaces
- Springhouse Shelter, 333 E.16th Ave., 32 year-round spaces
- Powell Place Emergency Shelter, 329 Powell St., 52 year-round spaces
- Downtown Eastside Women's Shelter, 412 East Cordova St., 57 year-round spaces
- Belkin House 555 Homer St., 81 year-round spaces
- The Haven, 108 East Hastings St., 34 year-round spaces
- The Beacon, 108 East Hastings St., 66 year-round spaces
- Crosswalk, 108 East Hastings St., 36 year-round spaces year-round spaces
- Vi Fineday Family Shelter, 1906 15th Ave. West, 18 year-round spaces
- Aboriginal Shelter, 240 Northern 201 Central St., 55 year-round spaces
Shelters - 335 spaces:
- Addictions & Rehabilitation Centre, 525 Johnson St., 30 extreme weather response spaces, 21 year-round spaces
- SOLID, 1056 North Park, 30 extreme weather response spaces
- Out of the Rain Victoria, 1450 Elford St., 15 year-round spaces
- Douglas Community Shelter, 2915 Douglas St., 29 year-round spaces
- 919 Pandora, 919 Pandora Ave., 34 year-round spaces
- My Place, 1240 Yates St., 54 year-round spaces
- Sandy Merriman House, 809 Burdett Ave., 25 year-round spaces
- Next Steps, 2317 Dowler Place, 13 year-round spaces
- Rock Bay Landing, 535 Ellice St., 84 year-round spaces