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Harbour Light’s shelters provide a safe place of refuge for over 200 adults every night. Our goal is to offer rest, dignity, and the right resources to meet our guests’ needs and improve their quality of life.

We are grateful for BC Housing’s generous support of our shelter program.

24-Hour Shelters
The Beacon and Haven shelters (108 East Hastings St.) offer 24-hour service to 60 and 40 men, respectively. Guests staying at these shelters are encouraged to work with our case workers and outreach teams to address their housing obstacles. Staff can assist guests in seeking employment, mental and physical health care, housing, social assistance, and other resources that will help them move to long-term housing.

Guests in the Beacon and Haven are served nutritious meals, have access to personal hygiene supplies and laundry services, the Vancouver Coastal Health nursing team, and a diverse slate of job skills, education, and living skills programming.

The Beacon Annex (also referred to as Sutherland at 119 East Cordova St.) offers an additional 30 beds for adult men under the same model as the Beacon and Haven. Originally opened as a winter shelter, this site has been extended through October 31, 2018 thanks to the generous support of BC Housing.

Overnight Shelters
The Crosswalk shelter (108 East Hastings St.) offers a safe, low-barrier overnight shelter for 35 men and women. The Crosswalk is open from 9:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m. nightly.

Since 2004, the Anchor shelter (119 East Cordova St.) has provided comfort to clients during the cold, wet winter months. This shelter has been extended through October 31, 2018, thanks to the generous support of BC Housing. Offering 40 mats for men and women, the Anchor is open from 8 p.m. – 8 a.m. daily.

Guests in our overnight shelters have access to showers, and referrals to supports including healthcare, life skills, treatment programs, outreach and caseworkers. These shelters are low-barrier environments, but do not allow drug or alcohol use inside. In the Anchor, a hot meal is provided at night. At the Crosswalk, sandwiches and fresh fruit are served at night. In both shelters, guests are provided a bagged lunch when leaving.

Winter Shelter Services
Harbour Light has been a grateful participant in the winter shelter strategy, made possible by partnership between BC Housing and the City of Vancouver. The Beacon Annex (24-hours) and Anchor (overnight) shelters opened for the season on November 1st, and have been extended through October 2018.

Formerly an Extreme Weather Response shelter, the Chapel (overnight) shelter now operates nightly during the winter shelter season. During the 2017-2018 winter season, the Chapel shelter was open from November through April, providing shelter for as many as 60 men and women each night.

Operating Principles
Our shelters are guided by seven evidence-informed, outcomes-focused Operating Principles:
1. We take a person-centred, holistic approach and ensure that people with particular vulnerabilities are supported.
2. We help people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness to access stable, positive housing and appropriate supports.
3. We use harm reduction principles to guide services to clients and behaviour-based criteria for restricting access to shelter.
4. We ensure people who have high needs receive accompaniment and follow-up services.
5. We aim to make every discharge from shelter an organized departure.
6. We coordinate services and participate in planning with community partners.
7. We track and analyze outcomes to inform planning and policy decisions and continually improve services.

You can help!
Our shelters welcome donations from the community. Our most needed items year-round are new underwear, new socks, toiletries, books, and board games. In the fall and winter, toques, gloves/mittens, rain ponchos, hoodies and “hot hands”-type hand warmers are in high demand. These types of donations can be dropped off at the shelters directly during intake hours, or you can contact us for other options.

Care packages, seasonal/festive decorations, and other donations are often welcome – please get in touch to share your idea with staff so we can ensure the best outcome for your generosity!

Volunteers spreading the Christmas spirit with care packages

Volunteer donates holiday chocolates for clients

Staff and clients making Christmas cards for their families

Philip, Shelter Outreach Worker, ready to meet everyone at our booth at UGM summer connect

Mannix, Shelter Outreach Worker, handing out cookies to community members

Christmas, Shelter Caseworker, gathering thoughts from the community