Beds in a temporary shelter

Shelters and winter response strategy

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update: Reduced capacity

November 25, 2020 - New measures are in place at shelters and warming centres to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. All sites have reduced capacity to support physical distancing requirements. City staff are working with the Province to add capacity over this winter season.

Shelters save lives by connecting homeless residents with necessary health, social, and housing services.

We're committed to ensuring all residents have a safe place to come inside, particularly during the cold winter months and other extreme weather.

There are various types of shelters in Vancouver – from permanent, purpose-built shelters, to temporary shelters, to spaces opened only during extreme weather.

We activate warming centres when the temperature drops below a certain point.

What's happeningTwo new temporary shelters

In partnership with the Province, we'll be opening two new temporary shelters totaling 120 beds. These two new shelters will be located at:

  • 875 Terminal Ave: 60-bed shelter 
  • 5-27 West Hastings St: 60-bed shelter 

We're working with the Province to plan the renovations at both buildings and once work is complete, both shelters will be available to people who are experiencing homelessness in the community.

Experienced non-profit operators by the Province will be selected in the coming weeks and will be on site 24/7 to support shelter guests. They will provide daily healthy meals, access to laundry and showers, assistance filling out housing application forms, as well as referral to community and health services, if needed. Once available, Operational Management Plans for these shelters will be posted to the website. 

Find more information

Shelter types

Dawn Bergman's legacy

On 19 December 2008 Dawn Bergman, aka Tracy, died when a candle ignited her shopping cart. She was homeless and had turned down police offers of help because she was worried she would lose the cart that carried all her belongings. At the time, most shelters did not allow people to store their belongings.

A 2009 Coroner's Report identified the need for locations where people living on the streets could secure their buggies and carts.

Temporary shelters address this need, and serve people near the places where they reside.

We welcome feedback

The City, Province, and shelter operators will continue to respond to any issues that arise. Any concerns that are raised will be addressed as quickly and fully as possible.

Contact the City or the shelters directly to provide feedback.

homelessness@vancouver.ca
604-673-8443

Donating to shelters

Email homelessness@vancouver.ca to be put in touch with the appropriate shelter provider.