Homelessness in Richmond
Many factors may lead someone to experience homelessness, including lack of income, access to affordable housing and medical services, traumatic events, addiction issues, physical health problems and mental health concerns. Homelessness is a consequence of one or more of these causes that results in physical and psychological 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 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
Richmond residents came together for a two part community conversation about the circumstance of homelessness in Richmond in February 2023. Participants came together to talk about what contributes to homelessness, share our hopes for the future, and generate ideas for how we can create a more connected, inclusive community. Thank you to all who participated. Please check back for new resource materials related to this initiative.
In partnership with Turning Point Recovery Society, the City 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 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, providing day-time support, 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 includes laundry services and is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 10:00 am and 2:00 to 6:00 pm. The Drop-In Centre and Shower Program welcome people experiencing homelessness on a drop-in basis.
Aster Place Supportive Housing
The City of Richmond, BC Housing, and a non-profit operator, Community Builders, worked together to create new modular supportive housing for up to 40 people experiencing homelessness. Located at 2520 Smith Street, Aster Place - Richmond Supportive Housing is open and provides 24/7 staffing and wrap-around support for residents.
Safety and Public Spaces
The City continues monitoring public spaces to ensure they remain clean and safe for all residents. The City has an established process to dispose of needles safely. 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 its website.
Homeless Counts are conducted across Metro Vancouver every three years. The next Count will be over a 24 hour period, March 7 and 8, 2023. The most recent Metro Vancouver Homeless Count was conducted in March 2020 and identified a minimum of 85 individuals experiencing homelessness in Richmond. This is a 21 percent 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, Program Lead, Homelessness