B.C. announces more winter shelters for homeless

The B.C. government announced more funding for emergency winter shelters on Friday, December 18th, 2018. Earlier this month, it announced funding for a 40-bed winter shelter at First United Church in West Kelowna, above. Google Maps

Calling it an urgent need, the provincial government says it is opening additional winter shelters for the homeless throughout B.C., and will also provide funding for emergency housing solutions.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a press release on Friday, said “the new shelters and housing solutions are a result of partnerships with municipalities and non-profits to help ease pressure on communities where existing shelters are running at or over capacity.” The Ministry then listed confirmed winter shelters or housing solutions for 10 communities.

Salt Spring Island

  • A 30-bed shelter operated by the Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Islands Community Services Society. B.C. Housing is providing a seasonal operating subsidy to the society, which is currently operating the only shelter available on the Gulf Islands.


  • A 15-bed women-only shelter operated by the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society. The shelter is the sole women-only shelter in the Cowichan Valley.


  • A 10-bed shelter operated by the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association. This shelter was formerly operating as an extreme weather response shelter but will now be open every night.


  • A 35-bed shelter operated by the Nanaimo Women’s Resource Society. The shelter is in addition to three other shelters in Nanaimo operating at or above capacity every night.


  • A 30-bed shelter operated by the Mustard Seed New Life Community. The shelter is in addition to two others operating in Kamloops.

Prince Rupert

  • A 25-bed shelter operated by the North Coast Transition Society. B.C. Housing is extending operating funding to keep the temporary shelter open through the winter.

Fort St. James

  • A 12-bed extreme weather response shelter operated by the Keys Resource Centre Society. This is the only shelter available in the community.


  • An overnight shelter to be operated by the Progressive Housing Society. There is an urgent need for an overnight shelter and day space to accommodate people experiencing homelessness over the winter, as there is currently only one extreme weather shelter in the city.


  • Temporary expansion of the women-only transition house from 10 to 22 beds. Operated by the Ann Davis Transition Society, this women’s housing is in addition to six shelters operating in the community at or above capacity.


  • Twenty rent supplements will be available, in addition to the four shelters in the community operating at or above capacity.

The province also announced two shelters on Dec. 7, 2018:

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  • A 15-bed shelter operated by RainCity Housing, adding to the shelter in Sechelt, which was the only shelter serving the entire Sunshine Coast area.

West Kelowna

  • Up-to-40-bed shelter operated by the West Kelowna Shelter Society. This is the only shelter in the City of West Kelowna. Nearby shelters in the City of Kelowna are operating at or above capacity.

The government added that more temporary shelters and extreme weather shelters may be added throughout the season as needed and where appropriate. The gov’t also stated there are currently 1,524 temporary shelter spaces and 883 extreme weather response shelter spaces in operation around the province. These spaces are in addition to more than 2,000 permanent, year-round shelter spaces available throughout British Columbia.

For a complete list of shelters funded by the Province and a map of where they are located, click here.

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