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Seventh Emergency Winter Shelter to Open in Vancouver

The seventh and final emergency shelter for the homeless will open at 1642 West 4th Avenue on Friday, January 15, 2010 as part of the City of Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Response Program. The program ensures that shelter options are available throughout the city for a temporary period ending April 30, 2010.

The Kitsilano shelter, on West 4th Avenue between Pine and Fir Streets, will provide 40 additional spaces, for a total of 500 temporary emergency shelter beds under the City’s Winter Response Program.

The West 4th Avenue shelter will be operated by the Motivation, Power and Achievement Society (MPA). The society provides supported housing and has been a leader in community mental health service delivery in the neighbourhood for over 38 years.

At least two MPA staff will be at the shelter at all times. As with other shelters opened under the 2010 Winter Response Program, shelter users will receive two meals each day and can bring shopping carts and pets into the facility.

A bed reservation system will reduce line-ups and access to adequate washroom facilities will be ensured. The shelter will remain open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. A community open house is planned for January 28, 2010 to provide information on shelter operations and 24-hour agency contacts for neighbours.

Emergency winter shelters are funded in 2010 through a $1.2 million contribution from the Government of British Columbia and $500,000 from the City. Shelter locations are chosen based on need and the number of homeless in the area.

In the past month, three other temporary shelters have opened at 677 East Broadway, 1435 Granville Street and 747 Cardero Street. They join temporary emergency shelters at 320 East Hastings, 51 West Cordova Street and 201 Central Avenue.

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