April 29th, 2011
VANCOUVER – Today the City of Vancouver’s temporary winter shelter at 677 E. Broadway closed, the last of the four temporary winter shelters to close as scheduled by April 30.
All four winter shelters stopped accepting new residents on April 1 to help with orderly closures. At that time, there were 156 people staying at them, and the Province, the City and various non-profit housing partners began to identify housing options and meet with shelter residents about their preferences.
Of the 156 people, 84 accepted housing offers, 52 went to other housing options, and 20 declined offers of housing assistance.
The Province would like to thank the City and the non-profit housing partners who contributed to the operation of the shelters, and for the support from local residents and businesses in the four neighbourhoods. The Province and the City jointly committed to these neighbourhood-based shelters operating for a fixed term of 120 days until the end of April, and the City’s development permits were specifically issued for that time period. These were clearly identified as temporary winter response shelters, just like they were last year. These four shelters also closed last April.
The Province continues to support the operation of more than 650 year-round emergency shelter beds in Vancouver, with $17 million in annual funding. This is nearly double the number of year-round beds that were available in 2005, when the Province provided over $5 million for the operation of 331 year-round beds in Vancouver.
Last week the Province announced a $12-million investment at the opening of the new, expanded Union Gospel Mission facility, with 100 additional shelter beds and supportive housing units, for a total of 183 beds and apartments. Earlier this week the Province announced a two-month funding extension for the 40-bed Stanley/New Fountain shelter, one of the original HEAT shelters that first opened in 2008.
More than 300 new, permanent supportive housing apartments will open in Vancouver over the next couple of months – part of the provincial investment of over $300 million toward 1,530 new supportive housing apartments on 14 sites in Vancouver. Approximately 570 of these apartments will be available by the end of 2011.