Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Province extends funding for three Vancouver shelters

British Columbia will continue funding three of seven Vancouver homeless shelters slated to be shut down at the end of this month, Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman announced in a release.

The three shelters that will receiving funding extensions are:

- First United Church, which sleeps more than 200 people at 320 Hastings St, has been funded until 2013;

- Aboriginal Central Shelter, which sleeps 100 people at 240 Northern St., has been funded until 2012; and

- New Fountain Shelter, which sleeps 28 people at 51B Cordova St., has been funded until next year when the Portland Hotel Society’s new building is scheduled to open.

The province remains committed to closing Vancouver remaining four emergency shelters. According to the release, “These shelters are closing by April 30 in order to meet the commitment made by both the City and the Province to surrounding neighbourhoods.”

BC Housing is working to find transition housing for the 160 or so homeless residents of the other four winter shelters.

“The Province will also offer shelter and housing options to all homeless people currently staying at the four winter-response shelters in Vancouver,” BC Housing stated in the release. “The Province and the non-profit shelter operators have been meeting with people staying at the shelters to find spaces at provincially and privately owned SRO hotels, other shelters and in provincially subsidized affordable housing.”

Dozens of rooms have been recently vacated within two or three provincially owned residential hotels so that renovations could begin. Sources told The Tyee that BC Housing may postpone those renovations so that the rooms can house homeless people moving out of the emergency shelters.

Housing was found for 1,220 shelter and homeless outreach clients in the Downtown Eastside in 2009, according to BC Housing.

The first low-barrier shelters --- then called HEAT shelters --- opened in December 2008 in order to help Vancouver’s homeless citizens during an extremely cold winter. Since then, the Province has provided $7.25 million in funding for the temporary shelter spaces.

Vancouver's homeless population has risen 12 per cent during the past two years, in spite of these and other investments.

In 2010-11, B.C.’s budget for social housing is approximately $562 million. Vancouver's share of that is about $123 million, according to BC Housing.

Monte Paulsen reports for The Tyee

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus