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Second HEAT shelter now closed

August 5th, 2009 · 13 Comments

This just out from city hall, where apparently some poor wretch is still employed to put out news releases while everyone else is on holiday.

Howe Street shelter closes two days early

The Howe Street shelter has closed two days ahead of schedule thanks to the availability and acceptance of alternate housing by shelter residents, Vancouver Deputy Mayor Geoff Meggs announced today.

“Over the past two days, staff from the City of Vancouver, BC Housing and RainCity Housing and Support Society worked closely with shelter residents to find suitable accommodations in other locations,” Meggs said. “The completion of renovation projects at several provincially owned single-room occupancy hotels has created new housing opportunities for shelter residents while the work to make Dunsmuir House ready for occupancy takes place.”

Last week the Province announced it would close the Howe Street shelter on August 7. The shelter was activated in December 2008 to provide Vancouver’s homeless citizens with shelter during the extremely cold winter.

The Province is leasing the 166-unit Dunsmuir House, at the corner of Richards and Dunsmuir, to provide a significantly higher number of more stable and affordable housing units. The City of Vancouver will provide $500,000 for renovations to the building before it opens to residents in September.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of BC Housing, and RainCity Housing and Support Society, we are very pleased that about 35 shelter users accepted alternate housing arrangements and are now settling into those locations,” Meggs said.  “Several remaining shelter users opted to make their own arrangements.

“The shelter was not permitted to accept new users so given the successful identification and acceptance of housing options for the majority of existing shelter users, the closure of the Howe Street shelter was timely.”

The shelter closed at 10 a.m. this morning.

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