British Columbia

Homeless advocates demand emergency shelters remain open

Vancouver housing advocates say 200 people could end up back on the streets if the province doesn't reverse its decision to close several emergency shelters across the city.
Carnegie Community Action Project spokeswoman Wendy Pedersen her group will erect protest camps around the facilities if they close. (CBC)

Vancouver housing advocates say 200 people could end up back on the streets if the province doesn't reverse its decision to close several emergency shelters across the city.

On Monday the B.C. government extended funding for the New Fountain shelter  by another two months to give residents more time to find other places to stay.

But Carnegie Community Action Project spokeswoman Wendy Pedersen says if the province does not come up with the funding to keep as many as five other shelters open, her group will erect protest camps around the facilities.

"If funding is not secured for these shelters in the next 24 hours, homeless people at this shelter and their advocates are going to start tent cities outside these shelters. Our first action is taking place tomorrow," said Pederson.

The province says the facilities were only opened to provide emergency shelter  during the winter months, and 650 year-round emergency shelter beds around the city will remain open.

In addition the province is about to open 309 units of permanent social housing, and 280 more will open by the end of the year, according to a statement issued by the Ministry Responsible for Housing on Tuesday.