Printer-friendly version   

The Best Place on Earth

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2010PSSG0090-001465

Nov. 23, 2010

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

 

 

MORE PROVINCIAL FUNDING FOR VANCOUVER WINTER SHELTERS

 

VANCOUVER – The Province will provide up to $1.5 million in new funding so that four new temporary emergency shelters can be established during the winter months in the City of Vancouver, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman announced today.

 

“This will ensure people have a safe, warm, dry place to sleep during this winter season,” said Coleman. “Next year at this time we will have hundreds of new supportive housing apartments available that are targeted to help reduce homelessness, and the new funding for this winter will help bridge the gap until the new housing is ready.”

 

Six supportive housing developments currently under construction on city-owned sites are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, providing approximately 570 new apartments.

 

The City of Vancouver will contribute up to $500,000 for the shelter building operations, such as maintenance and upkeep, including any required upgrades and repairs.

 

“These shelters will be a significant addition to the existing permanent, year-round shelter beds, and the additional temporary capacity that’s available when extreme weather alerts are issued,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “But most importantly, they will be open 24/7 and provide food for people as well, so they can provide better connections to support services and other assistance that can help people find permanent housing options. Last year, our winter shelters filled up within days and with the cold weather setting in, I expect these will as well.”

 

The four new temporary emergency shelters will be modelled on the four shelters that were established in the city last winter, with approximately 40 spaces each, and will be pet-friendly and accommodate shopping carts. Last year temporary shelters were opened in Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, Northeast False Creek, and the West End; this year’s locations have not yet been confirmed. The City is considering the same locations, as well as other possible options. The aim is to have the four temporary shelters open as soon as possible, likely by early December. The four temporary shelters will close no later than the end of April 2011.


 

 

These new shelter spaces are in addition to a range of shelter spaces already available in Vancouver. There are 658 permanent, year-round shelter beds at 14 shelters funded under the Emergency Shelter Program. In addition, there are approximately 340 spaces available at three locations that remain open under the 2008 HEAT shelter project. Also, up to 267 additional spaces are available in Vancouver through the Extreme Weather Response Program, when extreme weather alerts are issued.

 

In total, including today’s funding announcement for approximately 160 additional temporary shelter spaces, there will be more than 1,400 shelter spaces available in Vancouver this winter, with more than $20 million in annual funding for shelters in Vancouver for the 2010/11 fiscal year. The City and the Province are also partnering on 14 sites of new social housing, which will result in over 1,500 new units being built in Vancouver over the next few years.  

 

In 2010-11, the Province will invest over $562 million to provide affordable housing and fight homelessness throughout British Columbia – more than four times as much as in 2001.

 

More information on the Emergency Shelter Program is at: www.bchousing.org/programs/ESP

 

-30-

 

 

 

Contact:

 

Tasha Schollen

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

250 356-6538

 

 

 

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.