As indicated by media reports earlier this year (Mike Howell in the Courier, I think), the city is re-opening one of the two shelters under the Granville Bridge.
This time, it will be open 24 hours, which is intended to prevent the line-ups and crowd mayhem that nearby condo residents objected to last time. Presumably there will be more monitoring of problems. They’re also saying it will only be open during the winter, not the warmer months when more problems with dealers and others hovering around the building started to emerge. But I’m wondering, given how warm it is out now, whether that might not make even the winter months more challenging.
Anyway, here’s the news release from the city on the opening.
Second emergency winter shelter to open in Vancouver
A second new emergency shelter for the homeless will open on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 1435 Granville Street with 40 sleeping spaces available.
The temporary shelter is the second low-barrier facility to open this year as part of the City’s 2010 Winter Response Program.
The Granville Street shelter will be operated by RainCity Housing, who have operated housing and shelter for people throughout the Lower Mainland since 1982. The low-barrier shelter will allow shelter users to bring shopping carts and pets with them. The shelter will have rules posted such as no violence tolerated in the shelter.
An emergency shelter was operated at the same location in 2009. A community open house will be held on January 20, 2010 to provide information on shelter operations and agency contacts for neighbours. A bed reservation system will reduce line-ups and access to adequate washroom facilities will be ensured. The shelter will remain open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. The shelter will close by April 30, 2010.
Emergency winter shelters are funded in 2010 through a $1.2 million contribution from the Government of British Columbia and $500,000 from the City. Shelter locations are chosen based on need and the number of homeless in the area.
A temporary shelter operating 24-hours-a-day at 677 East Broadway with the same fixed closing date opened on December 22, 2009, providing 40 homeless people with a place to stay and two meals a day.