The Province is committed to addressing the housing and support needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Through various partnerships and projects, we are working to better understand, respond to and prevent homelessness in B.C. Our goal is to make homelessness rare, brief and a one‑time occurrence.
Last updated: June 1, 2023
On this page:
- Belonging in B.C. homelessness plan
- Outreach programs
- Understanding homelessness in B.C.
- Grants and partnerships
- Shelters and supportive housing
- Homeless encampments
- Supporting the Downtown Eastside
Belonging in B.C. is the Province’s collaborative plan to prevent and reduce homelessness. The plan includes immediate actions backed by $633 million in Budget 2022 (over three years) and $1.5 billion in Budget 2023 to help thousands of people maintain and access housing and supports. Through this plan, Government is working with Indigenous partners, people with lived experience of homelessness, local governments, service providers and other partners to create a province where everyone has a community and a place to call home.
Outreach services aim to meet people where they are, whether that's on the street, in a shelter or in a temporary place.
- The Homeless Outreach Program helps people find an outreach worker and access immediate supports in their community.
- The Homeless Prevention Program supports individuals at transition points who are at greater risk of homelessness (for example, youth transitioning out of foster care). The program provides rent supplements and services to help individuals access the private rental housing market.
- Community Integration Specialists connect people experiencing homelessness with local agencies and organizations offering supports.
Homelessness counts collect information about the number of people experiencing homelessness. Counts take place over a 24-hour period in communities across the province.
The Integrated Data Project gathers data from multiple government sources to learn what experiences of homelessness can look like for different people.
B.C. offers grants and partnerships to help communities support people experiencing homelessness:
BC Housing is a Crown Corporation that supports social and affordable housing, rent supplements, emergency shelters and outreach for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
B.C. uses a Housing First approach to homelessness. Housing First prioritizes permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness, along with other supports. Once a person's basic needs are met, they are better able to access health, income, social and other supports. B.C.'s Housing First principles were informed by a four-year national study.
Building modular housing is a fast, efficient way to provide safe housing. Units can be temporary or permanent, and provide 24/7 staffing and supports. The Rapid Response to Homelessness program built over 2,000 modular housing units
Supportive housing helps people experiencing or at risk of homelessness find and maintain stable housing. There are a range of supportive housing options to help people live as independently as possible
Transition houses and safe homes help women who are at risk of or who have experienced violence. Women and children are provided a temporary place to stay along with referrals and help planning next steps
Complex care housing addresses the needs of people who aren't adequately served in supportive housing. This type of housing provides long-term care and support to people who may be experiencing:
- Mental health challenges
- Substance use challenges
- A developmental disability
- A brain injury
People experiencing homelessness in encampments (also known as tent cities) and public spaces have legal and human rights. People may be physically, mentally or emotionally vulnerable. They deserve supportive, informative and non-judgmental assistance. They should also have an opportunity to provide input into suitable housing solutions.
The province works with local community partners to help people in encampments to:
- Stay safe and healthy
- Find stable housing
- Access support services
The Province is taking a leadership role in supporting community health and safety in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood. Through the DTES Provincial Partnership Plan, the Province is working with the City of Vancouver, Indigenous governments, Indigenous organizations, service providers, and community partners to help DTES residents access integrated housing, health, social and cultural supports.