The Salvation Army in partnership with BC Housing celebrated the opening of newly renovated shelters at their Harbour Light location on Cordova Street in the downtown eastside with a special ceremony at the shelter this morning.
Renovations to the shelters included creating privacy partitions in sleeping areas, new bug resistance flooring and improved lighting. In addiction, washrooms, security features, kitchens and common areas were upgraded and furnished.
The newly renovated Beacon shelter will provide 60 shelter beds and is next door to the haven shelter which provides 40 shelter beds. The Haven shelter was renovated early last year and started operating 24/7 in September 2008. Operations at the newly renovated Beacon shelter started in March 2009.
The Beacon and Haven shelters provide gateways to support services that help homeless men establish a plan to re-stabilize their lives. Clients can initially stay up to two weeks and have opportunities to extend their stay if they are progressing towards their goals. In addition, clients are provided with three meals a day and other services to meet their basic nutritional and hygiene needs.
The Salvation Army believes that by providing two weeks of food and shelter, people who are homeless will be provided with the necessary stability to make steps toward recovery and permanent housing, and access the many resources The Salvation Army and the rest of the downtown eastside community has to offer.
On hand and speaking at the ceremony was Housing Minister Rich Coleman representing BC Housing and Councillor Kerry Jang of the City of Vancouver.
Salvation Army spokesperson Major Brian Venables praised BC Housing for its support of The Salvation Army’s expansion of services to Vancouver’s most vulnerable community.
“BC Housing’s investment in the Beacon and Haven Shelters allows The Salvation Army the opportunity to make significant impact on the lives of the men we serve,” said Venables. “This partnership enables stronger connections for the residents to much needed services and programs.”
BC Housing provided $342,000 for renovations, through the Building Repair program and will provide annual operating funding of $3.1 million.
The Sutherland Foundation made a donation for the complete purchase of the Beacon building.