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Person who is homeless holding a cardboard sign that reads 'you can make a difference'

Homelessness Action Week

Events calendar

See the 2017 Homelessness Action Week calendar of events.

Events calendar  (112 KB)

Each year, we join communities and organizations throughout the region to mark Homelessness Action Week.

Homelessness Action Week 2018 is October 7 to 13.

What the week is about

The week’s purpose is to raise public awareness on issues of homelessness and rally local solutions.

Homelessness Action Week is organized by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness. The Committee is a coalition of community organizations and all levels of government.

Learn about the Committee's work on homelessness External website

Events and initiatives

We are a proud participant in Homelessness Action Week, and support events and initiatives during the week and over the year, including:

  • Homeless Connect events, where attendees can get everything from health care assistance to bike repairs to a nutritious meal
  • Events hosted by local non-profit organizations


Homelessness Action Week grants

Community and grassroots events and projects are an important part of Homelessness Action Week. 

We provide grants to non-profit organizations to host events and organize projects related to Homelessness Action Week that:

  • Help Vancouver residents who are homeless
  • Create awareness of homelessness
  • Engage citizens on solutions to homelessness

Learn more about Homelessness Action Week grants

2017 grant recipients


Organization Project

Aboriginal Mother Centre Society

Community Open House

Community lunch during HAW for homeless, at risk and housed community members, tour of AMCS, access to service providers, Indigenous drumming and elders. Packed lunches given to those in need.

Circle of Eagles Lodge Society 

Anderson Lodge Homeless Action Day stew and bannock

During HAW in October, Anderson Lodge residents and staff will prepare stew and bannock for 600 people, to be served along with care kits to homeless and at risk in the DTES and other parts of Vancouver. Through this project, Lodge residents will have an opportunity to ‘give back’ to the community.

Collingwood Neighbourhood House

Housing Stories: Short Film Project

To expose and dispel myths around homelessness, a film will be produced featuring interviews with five local people with lived experience of homelessness and other challenges. Following a film screening and panel discussion during HAW, the film will travel to community groups and schools.

DTES Neighbourhood House

Alley Health Fair

A street “homeless connect” event on Sept 19 that brings together 40+ service providers in the DTES to promote health and wellness and to educate participants about available local services. Target population includes people who are homeless or under-housed and living in poverty with limited access to health care providers.

DTES SRO Collaborative Society

Tenant Convention 2017

This convention for tenants of DTES privately-owned SRO Hotels will focus on educating tenants to be organizers in their own buildings, to protect themselves from eviction and landlord intimidation, to understand and demystify COV Inspection & Enforcement and the RTB process, and nurture a sound tenant network, all with the goal of contributing to the preservation of low-income housing in Vancouver.

Downtown Eastside Women's Centre (DEWC) Association 

Ready to Rent Continuation: RentSmart preparedness training for homeless women

RentSmart workshops for groups of up to 12 women who are homeless or at risk. Training will include landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, landlord/tenant relationships and communication, budgeting, maintenance and crisis management. The goal is empowered tenants who benefit from the stable housing and all its related impacts.

Family Services of Greater Vancouver

Cardboard Vancity

Directions Youth Centre will host Cardboard Vancity, an experiential poverty simulator that lets participants experience ‘the system’ from the other side, to build relationships between homeless youth, service providers and businesses, and to increase understanding of the realities and barriers homeless youth face. A short video will be produced and posted online.

Gallery Gachet Society

Oppenheimer Park Community Art Show 10th Anniversary

A month-long art exhibition at Gallery Gachet featuring work by artists who use Oppenheimer Park frequently, many of whom are homeless or at risk. During the art-making process, artists will be provided with direct social and peer support through Oppenheimer Park’s partners and other resources.

Gordon Neighbourhood House

MPV Art Show and Drop-In Program

Youth struggling with barriers to housing and employment, many who are homeless, will create art during weekly art drop-in sessions, culminating in a community Art Show and a celebratory meal. Goals include increasing capacity to engage the community on issues of homelessness and to engage more homeless youth in the regular art drop-in program.

Inland Refugee Society

Refugee Claimant Landlord Training

Three workshops will be held across Vancouver to train community members/landlords on how to offer safe, informed support and low-cost rental accommodation to refugee claimants who live in the shelter system or are vulnerably housed.

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House

Welcoming Our Neighbours Part IV - Warm Feet, Full Stomachs Continued

Building on its HAW initiatives since 2014, MPHN’s Youth Action Committee will host a 30-day sock drive for the homeless, make and distribute 250+ sandwiches to Raincity Triage shelter, and host “Eat + Talk = Housing for All” community dinner and facilitated intergenerational and intercultural dialogue on housing and homelessness.

Potluck Café Society

Concrete Canapes - Dignifying DTES Food Distribution

The DTES Kitchen Tables’ Outreach Team will distribute Potluck’s DTES Food Map to 1000+ people in DTES food lines while offering 1000 bowls of nutritious oatmeal. The outdoor street presence will allow the Team to reach community members who do not access resources and those who are most isolated while simultaneously gathering valuable feedback on the inner city food system.

Renfrew-Collingwood Seniors' Society

Setting Roots in Your Community

Based on the success of previous years, this intergenerational project involves Grade 4 students, ‘at risk’ high-school students, and seniors welcoming new tenants to the Kingsway Continental Hotel. 40–50 lunch bags will be painted and filled with toiletries, nutritious food and a welcome card to be delivered with other essentials to new tenants 4 times over the year. A hearty meal will be delivered twice, as well as cookies and gifts at Christmas, and seeds and soil in the spring. The aims are to help new residents feel welcomed and cared for, and to help youth and seniors better understand homelessness issues.

South Vancouver Neighborhood House

New Heights in Fraserview (Life Skills to Prevent Homelessness)

HAW Youth Council will prepare an advocacy campaign to raise awareness of homelessness and food security, collect and donate food to Covenant House and the South Vancouver foodbank, and host workshops on homelessness, housing, meal preparation and budgeting at BC Housing sites in South East Vancouver.

Watari Youth, Family and Community Services Society

Under One Umbrella Connect Event

A day long service fair for homeless or at risk individuals with up to 40 community service providers. Average annual attendance over 8 years is around 500 people per year.

West End Seniors' Network

Pairing Older Adult Roommates Community Consultation

Based on grassroots interest, the WESN will hold a consultation process to gather input on the viability of a roommate program and database to match low-income older adults living alone in the West End with other older adults in need of sharing space and housing expenses. The project will raise awareness of the growing risk of homelessness among older adults and aims to prevent low-income older adults from entering homelessness or being displaced from their community.

Youth Unlimited

Street Life Thanksgiving

Street Life’s RV on Commercial Drive will open for an extra drop-in evening during HAW to provide street-entrenched youth with access to a range of community resources and programs and a special Thanksgiving meal. The event aims to take care of the immediate needs of youth, offer youth the opportunity to deepen connections with their community, and raise awareness among the community of youth homelessness.