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 and/or mental health concerns. Homelessness is a consequence of one or more of these causes that results in physical and mental suffering, often resulting in significant trauma.
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.
On September 9, 2019, the Richmond Homelessness Strategy 2019-2029 was adopted by City Council. This strategy was informed through extensive public engagement activities and is guiding City staff and community actions regarding homelessness service provision over the next 10-year period.
The Homelessness Strategy 2019-2029 provides the following vision statement:
“By 2029, homelessness in Richmond will be rare, brief and non-recurring. Richmond is an inclusive community that works in collaboration to provide a continuum of housing and support services.”
To achieve this vision, the strategy provides five strategic directions and 32 related actions:
- Prevent pathways into homelessness.
- Support residents who are experiencing homelessness.
- Provide pathways out of homelessness.
- Foster collaboration and capacity-building among community partners.
- Communicate, research and monitor homelessness.
The City partners with numerous community stakeholders to undertake the recommended actions outlined in the Homelessness Strategy 2019-2029. Annual update reports to City Council (provided below) highlight ongoing progress in implementing this Strategy.
Homelessness Strategy 2019-2029 - 2021 Update
Homelessness Strategy 2019-2029 - 2020 Update
HOME: A Community Conversation on Homelessness
In June 2022, the City invited residents to come together for a two-part community conversation about homelessness in Richmond. In these conversations, participants discussed the meaning of home and homeless and talked about what contributes to the circumstance of homelessness. Together, ideas were explored about how people can take big or small actions to help foster a more connected and inclusive community.
Thank you to everyone who attended, shared their stories, experiences and perspectives and participated in the conversation. Updates from the sessions and additional opportunities to participate in the conversation will be posted here once available.
The City, in partnership with Turning Point Recovery Society, opened a Drop-In Centre and Shower Program at the centrally located Brighouse Pavilion at 7840 Granville Avenue. The Drop-In Centre is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm, providing day-time supports, such as computers and computer literacy training and access to the internet, as well as SMART addiction recovery, service navigation and referral, warm drinks, snacks and lunches. The Shower Program, which includes laundry services, is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 10:00am and 2:00 to 6:00pm. The Drop-In Centre and Shower Program welcomes people experiencing homelessness on a drop-in basis.
Chimo Community Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social justice and addressing violence by providing integrated services, education, and housing programs designed to foster well-being for people in crisis.
Chimo’s Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP): Provides individuals in identified at-risk groups facing homelessness with rent supplements and support services to help them access housing in the private (non-subsidized) housing market.
Chimo’s Homeless Outreach Program (HOP): Aims to support individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness during their housing search by providing housing-related resources as well as general knowledge about how to navigate the current housing scene.
In the on-going effort to address local affordable housing needs, the City has partnered with BC Housing to provide housing and services for Richmond’s most vulnerable residents through the development of the new Aster Place, Richmond Supportive Housing. Construction is underway, and will provide 40 homes for Richmond residents. Bridgeport Supportive Housing is anticipated to open soon.
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 a needle is found in a public space, notify the City’s Public Works Department for disposal at 604-270-8721 (24-hour line). In addition, Vancouver Coastal Health provides information regarding safe needle disposal on their website.
The Metro Vancouver Homeless Count was conducted in March 2020 and identified a minimum of 85 individuals experiencing homelessness in Richmond. This is a 21 per cent increase since 2017 and is considered an undercount. Service providers in the community estimate that there are approximately 145 individuals experiencing homelessness in Richmond. The City is working closely with community partners to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in Richmond.
In addition to the links to documents and homeless service providers above, the following list provides links and web addresses to frequently used websites:
- BC Housing: Homelessness Services and Program
- BC Housing: Transition Housing and Safe Homes List
- Salvation Army Richmond House Emergency Shelter
- Urban Bounty - A program of Richmond Food Security Society
- Richmond Low Cost or Free Community Meals and Food Map
- Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy
- The Homeless Hub
- Richmond Resource Guide
Contact: Valerie Watson, Project Lead, Homelessness