City Hall's 12th Avenue entrance

Vancouver City Council approves $1.1M in grant funding to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, advance the DTES Plan, and support SRO tenants during extreme heat

June 27 2024 –

Yesterday, Vancouver Council approved $1.1 million in grants to support the well-being of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The City of Vancouver is committed to creating a more livable, safe and supportive place for residents of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) and to addressing the causes of and solutions to homelessness. 
 “The grants approved yesterday are a game-changer for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness in our city's communities,” says Mayor Ken Sim. “We're incredibly proud to support these impactful programs, understanding that lifting up individuals facing systemic barriers paves the way for more equitable neighbourhoods for all.” 
Through the DTES Plan Implementation Grant (289 KB) DTES Plan Implementation Grant $649,700 was approved for 17 DTES non-profit organizations to advance the social, economic and environmental objectives of the DTES Plan. Funds will be used to support a wide variety of work including: 

  • Cheng Wing Yeong Tong Benevolent Society - $50,000 was granted to restore a heritage building to improve livability for residents and make it more welcoming for community members. 
  • Food Stash Foundation - $50,000 was granted to purchase a used electric vehicle to rescue and redistribute food to the DTES. 
  • Exchange Inner City Community Economic Development Association - $10,400 was granted to develop an interactive and searchable database of low-barrier, income generating opportunities and supports in the DTES. 
  • WISH Drop-In Centre Society - $50,000 was granted for critical upgrades to security, hygiene and community drop in space at the facility.

In addition, $43,000 in Homelessness Services Grants (297 KB) were allocated to 17 non-profit organizations to support Vancouver residents who are experiencing homelessness, including initiatives such as:   

  • Family Services of Greater Vancouver - $2,500 was granted for workshops for vulnerable 2SLGBTQIA+ youth experiencing homelessness, or who are precariously housed, to help build connections with the larger queer community in Vancouver and address a critical gap in support services.  
  • Gallery Gachet Society - $3,000 was granted for elder and peer facilitators to provide cultural support for marginalized at-risk men, youth, and individuals participating in weekly sports gatherings hosted at Oppenheimer Park.  
  • South Vancouver Neighborhood House - $3,000 was granted for opportunities for artists experiencing homelessness to visualize their perspectives, develop their skills, and express their artistic agency.  
  • Lotus Light Charity Society - $3,000 was granted for community events to facilitate meaningful connections, raise awareness of the risks of extreme heat, and provide weather appropriate care packages. 

Council also approved a grant of $99,800 for the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Heat Preparedness and Response Program, providing life-saving services to SRO residents in the DTES during heat events this year. This grant will support over 2,000 tenants with life-saving heat-response support in 41 SROs in the DTES and Chinatown.   
Additionally, to strengthen small businesses, social enterprises, and non-profit organizations in the DTES, $310,000 in grant funding was approved to community implementation partners as part of the third year of the DTES Special Enterprise Pilot Program (SEP). The program helps build resilience, capacity of small business, non-profits and social enterprises, as well as activates vacant and under-utilized spaces. 
These programs align with the Healthy City Strategy, the City’s social sustainability framework and related initiatives, including: the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Strategy, the Reconciliation Framework (150 KB), the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Response, and the Equity Framework (4 MB).  

The grant recommendations are outlined in the following reports to council: 

Report (289 KB) - DTES Plan Implementation and Special Enterprise Program Grant Allocations - 2024 
Report (297 KB) – Homelessness Services grants and the SRO Heat Preparedness