Homelessness in Richmond
There are many factors that may lead someone to experience homelessness, including lack of income, lack of access to affordable housing options and medical services, traumatic events, addiction issues, physical health problems, or mental health concerns. Homelessness is a difficult experience and causes physical and mental suffering. It is not something that most people would want to experience for themselves or their loved ones.
The City of Richmond is committed to working in partnership with senior levels of government and the private and non-profit sectors, to help meet the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in Richmond. Recognizing that senior levels of government have the primary responsibility of providing funding for homeless prevention programs, services and affordable housing, the City is committed to remaining a local leader that works with community organizations to ensure that homelessness in Richmond is rare, brief and non-recurring.
COVID-19: Emergency Response Centre (ERC)
BC Housing and the Province of BC will open Richmond's first Emergency Response Centre (ERC) on May 19, 2020 as part of the ongoing strategy to keep communities healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Richmond Emergency Response Centre Fact Sheet
The ERC will be located in the former-Minoru Place Activity Centre at 7660 Minoru Gate and operate 24/7 to provide shelter and self-isolation, along with a range of personal and health supports, for Richmond residents experiencing homelessness.
BC Housing has contracted with Turning Point Recovery Society, an experienced non-profit housing provider with long-standing experience in Richmond, to operate the centre. The City of Richmond is providing the location.
Housing up to 45 individuals at any one time, entry will be done on a gradual basis to ensure appropriate monitoring and supports are in place during intake. This is not a drop-in centre. Access is by referral only through Vancouver Coastal Health, the RCMP or other health providers.
The ERC, one of several across the province, is a temporary measure to support Richmond's efforts to protect the community from COVID-19. Minoru Place Activity Centre has been leased to BC Housing until mid-August 2020. The facility is currently vacant and readily available for use as an Emergency Resource Centre. It is also close to transit and easily accessible due to its proximity to the city centre. Its operations will not impact any surrounding services or facilities.
While the ERC will provide safe shelter and self-isolating space for those Richmond residents without permanent shelter, any individuals who are symptomatic for COVID-19 will be tested and sent to hotel rooms or the hospital while awaiting their results. Anyone who is confirmed positive will remain at that location or be placed under medical care based on Vancouver Coastal Health’s directions. They will not stay at the ERC if confirmed positive for COVID-19.
On September 9, 2019, the Richmond Homelessness Strategy 2019-2029 was adopted by City Council. This Strategy will guide the community’s actions regarding homelessness service provision over the next 10 years.
In May and June 2019, the City completed public engagement activities to seek input on the Draft Homelessness Strategy. There were several ways to get involved, including an online feedback form posted at Let's Talk Richmond and a public open house held on June 5, 2019.
The City of Richmond completed a Homelessness Needs Assessment and Strategy in 2002 and a review of Emergency Services & Transitional Housing in 2015.
Rapid Response to Homelessness
In the on-going effort to address local affordable housing needs, BC Housing and the City of Richmond have partnered to provide housing and services for Richmond’s most vulnerable residents. BC Housing through its Rapid Response to Homelessness Program and the City through its Affordable Housing Strategy, are committed to ensuring everyone has a place to call home. Please visit Rapid Response to Homelessness for more information.
The City worked in partnership with The Salvation Army and BC Housing to support the renovation of a building that provides a new emergency shelter at 12040 Horseshoe Way. This shelter provides 30 accessible beds for men and women experiencing homelessness in Richmond. Please visit Richmond’s Emergency Shelter relocation and expansion project for more information.
Safety and Public Spaces
The City continues to monitor public spaces to ensure they remain clean and safe for all residents to use. The City has an established process in place for the safe disposal of needles. If you find a needle in a public space, please notify the City’s Public Works Department for disposal. They can be reached at 604-270-8721. In addition, Vancouver Coastal Health provides information regarding safe needle disposal on their website.
- The Metro Vancouver Homeless Count was last conducted in in 2017 and estimated that there are 70 homeless individuals. This is an 84% increase since 2014.
- Non-profit housing and service providers in Richmond estimate that there are currently more than 120 homeless individuals in Richmond.
For more information regarding homelessness in Canada, visit The Homeless Hub.