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Province and city strike last-minute deal to open more shelter beds as young homeless population grows

December 30th, 2015 · 2 Comments

So odd that Vancouver has to go through this push and pull over opening up winter-shelter beds every year.

There was some angst behind the scenes as BC Housing, aka Rich Coleman, said Vancouver would get only the same 170 beds that the city got last year, while new Vancouver-type winter shelters (open for the four months of winter 24/7) were opened for the first time in Surrey, Maple Ridge and Abbotsford.

Then, surprise, the city shelters started having to turn people away as soon as they opened because there was more demand than space.

The result: a Christmas Eve announcement about an agreement between the province and city to split the cost of 60 more beds.

They’ll be opening in January (details in my Globe story here), with 10 of them specifically targeted for the growing population of young homeless people around Burrard and Davie, along with 30 in Gastown and 20 more in the Downtown Eastside.

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