This year we were able to provide 86 new supportive homes for people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. Since 2008 we have helped open 257 new units, and will have completed nearly 1,100 new homes by the end of 2015.
Through our $20 million commitment to a partnership with the Province of BC and City of Vancouver, Streetohome will help create nearly 950 units of supportive housing on eight city-owned sites around Vancouver. In November 2012, the first of these eight sites officially opened with 62 new units at 7th & Fir Street. By the end of 2012, six of the remaining seven buildings were under various stages of construction, with the exception of 1050 Expo, which has not yet broken ground.
The 2012 Homeless Count found that 32 percent of people living on the street or in shelters were Aboriginal. Recognizing the need for culturally specific housing for Aboriginal people, Streetohome provided $500,000 in capital funding for the redevelopment of 31 West Pender, creating 24 new supportive housing units for people who are homeless or at risk. Operated by Vancouver Native Housing Society, the building also houses a medical stay facility for Aboriginal people travelling to the city for treatment, and a traditional longhouse featuring a sweat lodge, smudge room, and gathering spaces.
Streetohome committed $120,000 to Atira Women’s Resource Society’s Container Housing Project, an innovative project created from re-purposed shipping containers for mature women who are at risk of homelessness or living in unsafe/precarious housing. These women will provide mentorship and support for the young women (ages 16-24) living in Atira’s Imouto House building next door, at 120 Jackson. Re-purposed shipping container housing has the potential to become a landmark affordable housing solution, and Streetohome is encouraged by the potential for new construction methods to create supportive housing for less money in a shorter amount of time.
In June 2012, Streetohome announced funding for Taylor Manor, through a $1.2 million donation from Vancity Credit Union and a $200,000 gift from Carraresi Foundation. The renewal of this heritage building at Boundary and Adanac is supported through a partnership with the City of Vancouver, and will provide 56 supportive housing units and facilities for homeless people with mental illness and addictions.
With these projects and others, we are making solid progress towards ending homelessness in Vancouver. The sooner we create housing, the sooner support can be provided, the sooner we can ensure a better life for our most vulnerable citizens.