This morning I took part in the City’s annual homeless count. I’m proud that as a City we set an ambitious goal seven years ago to end street homelessness. While I’m disappointed today that we’re not closer to zero than we are, as a city we’ve made progress. No one ever said it would be easy, but I know Vancouverites want and expect us to set important goals and take action.
The projects we’ve invested in have helped save lives, including over 500 units of permanent, interim, and shelter housing added in the last year alone. Interim housing at the Ramada on Hastings now provides warm homes for 40 people. Taylor Manor offers 56 people housing and mental health supports. The Quality Inn on Howe Street is housing more than 100 people, many of whom were homeless in Oppenheimer Park last fall. The 14 sites in partnership with BC Housing are giving hundreds of people safe, permanent homes throughout Vancouver.
These are homes for some of our most vulnerable residents. People on welfare, foster kids, people who deal with addictions and mental illness who would otherwise be on the streets. I’m proud that we’ve enabled homes for them, and the successes we’ve seen are directly related to setting a bold goal and taking action.”
I remain fully committed to building a Vancouver where no one is ever forced to sleep outside at night, both by continued work with our partners and by taking action with every resource at the City’s disposal. We’ve come a long way since 2008, and we’re going to keep following through on what we as a City can do: providing space for shelters, investing in interim housing, and providing land for social housing with the Province.
- Mayor Gregor Robertson