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Tag-Archive for ◊ homelessness ◊

This weekend featured another important milestone in our work together to end street homelessness, and build a range of new affordable housing options throughout Vancouver.

The opening of 123 quality housing units at Kingsway Continental is a significant contribution to increasing non-market rental housing stock in Vancouver. Located on Kingsway at Tyne, the City purchased the former Ramada to add new affordable housing. The positive impact of safe and affordable housing as a stabilizing effect on people’s lives cannot be overemphasized.

We’ve made important progress together toward ensuring that none of our fellow residents are ever forced to sleep on the street at night, but we still have a lot more work to do.

The infographic below highlights our action plan to rise to the challenge, and tells the story of the results we’ve achieved so far. I hope you’ll spread the word.

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Today’s results from the 2014 Metro Vancouver homeless count reflect a frustrating setback in the work to end street homelessness in Vancouver, but I’m committed to seeing through our action plan to build a city where no one is ever forced to sleep outside at night.

The numbers tell a simple story: with fewer shelter beds, a delay in opening several hundred new supportive housing units this year, and the loss of decent SRO rooms at welfare rates, more people were left outside on the street. With over 600 units of new social housing opening later this year, plus new investments in interim housing by the City and Province in the Ramada and Biltmore Hotels, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to make a big impact before next winter.

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An update from City staff on housing capacity for the homeless in Vancouver shows a recent loss of winter shelter beds and delays in opening new social housing, which is a big concern for the safety of our city’s most vulnerable residents, says Mayor Robertson.

“In a city with as much wealth, compassion and innovation as Vancouver, there is no reason anyone should have to sleep out on the street at night,” said Mayor Robertson. “The delays in construction for provincial social housing and lack of interim housing to fill the gap are extremely frustrating, given it is our most vulnerable citizens who suffer.

“What we saw today is that this isn’t just a funding issue. The province has made significant investments in new housing, both in Vancouver and across BC, and we’ve partnered successfully with BC Housing to help hundreds of people off the streets and into new homes. But the delays in construction and lack of protections for SROs in the Residential Tenancy Act show we need to double our efforts.”

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“The results of the At Home / Chez Soi project provide one of the strongest confirmations to date that a “Housing First” approach is fundamental to ending homelessness and confronting the challenges of mental illness and addiction.

“The City partnered on the project by providing space for supportive housing for 100 residents at the Bosman Hotel. Today’s report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada confirms the success of that project and its service model, and clearly demonstrates the importance of significant new federal and provincial investment to build urgently needed new supportive housing. With the program coming to an end, the success of At Home is a clear demonstration that the federal and provincial government should continue to support the participants so that we don’t roll back the progress we’ve made, and that they can transition into stable, long-term homes with community supports.

“We’ve made important progress on Vancouver’s homelessness action plan, and I want to ensure we see it through. The success of the Housing First model shows that we’re on the right track. Working together with community partners and all levels of government, we’re committed to building a city where none of our fellow residents are ever forced to sleep on the street.”

- Mayor Gregor Robertson

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For the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s full report, please click here:
http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/node/24376 

 

 

The City of Vancouver is increasing its homeless advocacy and outreach services by both expanding the reach of its Homeless Outreach Team to be city-wide, and appointing a new Director of Services for the Homeless.

“The City’s goal is to ensure that no one has to sleep on the streets at night, and our expansion of new homeless shelters, interim housing and permanent housing have made a real difference,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “By expanding and improving how the City does outreach to its most vulnerable residents, we can help people get off the street faster, and into a home that meets their needs. That’s how we can build a stronger, more caring Vancouver.”

“I’d also like to welcome Ethel Whitty into her new role as Director of Services for the Homeless, who will be overseeing the City’s work to expand outreach and support for our homeless residents.”

The City will coordinate the work of its Tenant Assistance Program, which started in the late 1980s to support displaced seniors in Kerrisdale, with that of the Homeless Outreach Team, currently under the direction of the Carnegie Centre, to create a city-wide Outreach Service.

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This week Mayor Gregor Robertson delivered the keynote address at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Ottawa, emphasizing homelessness as a national challenge and stressing the need for bold action, clear goals, and innovative partnerships to make a difference:

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