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Social enterprises, real-estate deals put PHS in precarious financial state

March 25th, 2014 · 34 Comments

A lot of different octopus legs to follow on this PHS story. Here’s mine for today, a look at what got the province interested in examining the PHS books more closely — deficits caused, in part, by subsidies to the organization’s many social enterprises and its real-estate ventures, which were aimed at acquiring bits of […]

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Years of tension preceded current messy situation between PHS Community Services and province

March 18th, 2014 · No Comments

Everyone’s waiting for the axe to fall any day now on PHS Community Services Society, the DTES non-profit started by Mark Townsend and his wife, psychiatric nurse Liz Evans, 20 years ago. Housing Minister Rich Coleman has given more than one news conference saying “documents will be coming” and making references to financial irregularities at […]

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NDP plans to create more low-cost housing but it won’t be the subsidized social housing of the Harcourt/Clark years

May 8th, 2013 · 9 Comments

As many in the media have noticed, there’s been almost no discussion of social issues like health, education, the income gap, or housing in this election campaign. LNG, yes. Rent supplements or welfare rates, no. So here’s something that helps flesh out where the two major parties stand on housing and renter/landlord issues.

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A federal experiment proves that providing housing and services helps the most marginalized of the homeless stay housed. Now what?

March 1st, 2013 · 13 Comments

The Bosman Hotel has, for the last three years, essentially provided a mini-Riverview ward for those who need it in the middle of the downtown. It worked so well that even downtown business groups are worried about what will happen if it is simply shut down with no reasonable alternative for the most troubled of […]

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Addiction treatment a hot business in B.C. as thousands look for help

August 10th, 2010 · 10 Comments

For years I covered drug-addiction issues in the Downtown Eastside and people would inevitably talk about the lack of addiction treatment in the province. Other critics would also say that, out of Vancouver’s alleged Four Pillars approach to drugs, only one pillar was really getting funding: harm reduction. That always puzzled me because a lot […]

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Major housing announcement this morning to provide almost 1,000 units

May 25th, 2010 · 17 Comments

The announcement is at 10 and here’s what I know so far, which was in the Globe this morning

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Coleman says Vancouver needs to pay half the cost of operating Gregor shelters

March 25th, 2010 · 32 Comments

The city had its day in the media sun Tuesday, with a homeless count that seemed to be proving that having more shelters is keeping people off the street. The housing minister got his day today, with his Colemanesque gentle ultimatum that, if Vancouver wants to open more shelters than the province currently funds, it […]

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Rich Coleman’s big house plans

April 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments

For my latest in Vancouver magazine, I got to spend some time with the province’s ambitious Housing Minister NOT at housing announcements. Love him or hate him, no one can deny that Coleman is pouring a lot of energy into the housing/homelessness issue. The question for some is what the long-term consequences of his vision […]

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Shelters to stay open with new funding

March 9th, 2009 · 10 Comments

Word is about to come down that the city and province will put money in to keeping the new, as they’re called, “Gregor shelters” open for a few more months, while more permanent housing is brought on board. That’s the result of intensive meetings Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Mayor Gregor Robertson, Housing Minister Rich […]

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Where will the 500 in shelters go?

March 3rd, 2009 · 4 Comments

Oops, forgot to post my story from the Globe today earlier than this. But here it is. A look at what’s going on, as the city and province try to figure out where all those 500 people now camping out at First United and a warehouse near Great Northern and in city buildings under the […]

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Tags: Homelessness