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Winter Response Strategy

Winter Response Shelters will help homeless people in Vancouver
Winter Response Shelters will help homeless people in Vancouver

We are committed to ensuring all residents have a safe, warm place to come inside to during the cold winter months.

Over the last nine winters, the City of Vancouver and BC Housing have partnered to open temporary shelters so people experiencing homelessness can find the support they need.

Temporary shelters save lives by connecting homeless residents with necessary health, social, and housing services.

We are committed to ensuring that temporary shelters are managed well, safely, and responsibly.

Contact us about temporary shelters

604-829-9414

housing@vancouver.ca

Watch: Homeless Update 2015

2017-2018 temporary shelters to open 301 beds

October 18, 2017 – This fall 301 beds will become available at 10 temporary shelter locations in Vancouver, thanks to funding from the BC Government and the City of Vancouver.

Shelter address Beds Opening hours Operator
1648 E 1st Ave 40, for men and women 24 hours,
7 days per week,
Open November 8
RainCity Housing and Support Society
1401 Hornby St 40, for men and women 24 hours,
7 days per week,
Open November 1
RainCity Housing and Support Society
1060 Howe St 30, for men and women 6:00pm - 10:00am,
7 days per week,
Open December 15
Community Builders
1138 Burrard St 12, for male and female youth 9:00pm - 9:00am, 
7 days per week, 
Open November 15
Directions Youth Services
828 Cambie St 24, for men 4:00pm - 7:30am, 
7 days per week, 
Open November 13
Catholic Charities Men's Hostel
609 Helmcken St 30, for men and women 8:30pm - 7:30am, 
7 days per week, 
Open November 1

The Gathering Place Community Centre

131 Dunlevy Ave 15, for women 6:30pm - 9:00am, 
7 days per week, 
Open December 12
Atira Women's Resource Society
119 East Cordova Ave (Chapel Shelter) 40, for men and women 10:00pm - 7:00am, 
7 days per week, 
Open November 1
Salvation Army

134 East Cordova Ave (Anchor of Hope)

40, for men and women 8:00pm - 8:00am, 
7 days per week, 
Open November 1
Salvation Army
138 East Cordova St (Sutherland Shelter) 30 for men 24 hours,
7 days per week,
Open November 1
Salvation Army

If you need assistance finding shelter, call 211 or visit the website .

 

Learn more about the shelter operators:

2017-2018 Public information session

Community members are invited to participate in community information sessions.

  • Information session for 1648 E 1st shelter: Thursday, October 26, at the Britannia Community Centre Conference Room, 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
  • Information session for 1401 Hornby St shelter: Monday, October 30 at 1401 Hornby Street, 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
  • Information session for 1060 Howe St shelter: Monday, November 27, Burrard Room, Chateau Granville Hotel, 1100 Granville St., 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

 Space is limited – please register in advance by email to housing@vancouver.ca

Previous updates: 2012 – 2015

How temporary shelters help

Experienced shelter operators

The operators of the 2017-2018 temporary shelters are skilled and experienced in operating shelters. In addition to their permanent shelters, RainCity has operated the temporary shelters since winter 2009.

Each shelter has an Operations Management Plan. The plan is a condition of the development permit, and outlines how the shelter will be operated and whom to contact should a concern arise.

Go to the Documents tab for a link to the Operations Management Plan for your area.

Reducing conflict

In past experience, temporary shelters have attracted individuals already residing in the neighbourhood.

When temporary shelters are open, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Area has reported a reduction in the number of people sleeping on the street, and a corresponding reduction in street disorderly behaviour, including aggressive panhandling, open drug use, and trespassing on private property.

Welcoming feedback

The City, Province, and shelter operators will continue to respond to any issues that arise. Any concerns that are raised will be addressed as quickly and fully as possible.

Contact the City using the contact information on the right side of the page. Or go to the Documents tab, and click on the notification letter for contacts with the City, RainCity, or Community Builders.

The City, province, and shelter operators will continue to respond to any issues that arise. Any concerns that are raised will be addressed as quickly and fully as possible.

Contact the City using the contact information on the right side of the page. Or go to the Documents tab, and click on the notification letter for contacts with the City, RainCity, and BC Housing.

Background

The City and Province have partnered to provide shelter to homeless people living in areas not adequately serviced with shelter spaces during cold-weather months since the winter of 2008 / 2009.

Dawn Bergman's legacy

On 19 December 2008 Dawn Bergman, aka Tracy, died when a candle ignited her shopping cart. She was homeless and had turned down police offers of help because she was worried she would lose the cart that carried all her belongings. At the time, most shelters did not allow people to store their belongings.

A 2009 Coroner's Report identified the need for locations where people living on the streets could secure their buggies and carts.

Temporary shelters address this need, and serve people near the places where they reside.

Increasing resources for homeless people

The temporary shelter spaces opened each winter by the City and Province are in addition to Extreme Weather Response spaces funded by BC Housing.