Emergency Housing

Emergency Housing

Emergency Housing (Downloadable PDF)

Some options to consider before accessing emergency housing:

  • As an undergraduate student at UBC, you automatically get assigned an Enrolment Services Advisor. If you are experiencing financial hardship, your advisor can help you access emergency funds, apply for loans, scholarships, and bursaries, and/or create a financial plan. To find your advisor’s contact information, log into your Student Services Centre (SSC) and select “UBC Contacts” under Personal Info. 
  • Ask a friend or colleague to stay with them for a few nights. Assess how long the emergency situation will last, and decide whether a long-term plan is needed.
  • Hostels are also a good resource for short-term housing if you are financially able. It’s a good idea to check beforehand to see if the hostel has any policies on how long you can stay.
  • UBC employees have a number of rental options on campus, some at market price and others at reduced rent for faculty and staff, as well as short-term stays. Please check UBC Human Resources for more information.

Emergency housing and shelter directories:

In general, UBC students and Vancouver residents can use resources provided by the province such as BC Housing and BC 211. 

  • BC Housing has a map that includes many shelters in BC. The map is updated daily and you can search by city, neighbourhood, or postal code. This page also provides more information on eligibility for shelter access and what kind of services are offered (showers, laundry, food, support staff, etc.).
  • You can also call or text 2-1-1 for the Shelter and Street Helpline, which provides information and referral for basic needs like food or shelter. They have a shelter list that is updated every day at 11:30 am and 7:30 pm, as well as an online directory where you can search for services in your area.
  • The Vancouver Public Library provides a list of resources for residents looking to find lodging in Vancouver and surrounding areas.

Most shelters and emergency housing services are open to everyone. However, there are some resources that provide specialized support to specific communities:

  • For youth (16 to 24 years old):
    • The Directions Youth Services Drop-In Centre operates a 12-bed shelter program for youth aged 19-24. Their program aims to serve youth over a period of time to support a healthier and safer sleep.
    • The Covenant House Vancouver provides love and hope to Vancouver’s homeless and at-risk street youth. They help youth aged 16 to 24 who have fled physical, emotional and sexual abuse; those who have been forced from their homes; and those who have aged out of foster care.
  • For the LGBTQIA2S+ Community:
    • QMUNITY is a non-profit organization that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. 
    • Sher Vancouver strives to provide support through education and outreach to queer South Asians and their friends, families, and allies.
  • For folks who have experienced sexualized violence, domestic abuse or need mental health support:
    • The AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre and UBC’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office are confidential places for UBC community members who have experienced, or been impacted by, any form of sexual or gender-based violence, harassment, or harm, regardless of where or when it took place. They can also help direct students to housing resources such as short-term housing, residence relocation, and off-campus support. 
    • Raincity Housing and Support Society is a leading provider of housing for the homeless in Vancouver. It is a grassroots organization built around compassion, purpose and a commitment to delivering progressive housing and support solutions for people living with mental illness, addictions and other challenges.
    • Dixon Transition Society helps to reduce the impact of domestic violence by providing transitional housing programs, counselling and outreach services.
    • Lookout Housing and Health Society is a charitable organization and social safety net. They provide housing and a range of support services to adults with low or no income who have few, if any, housing or support options. Their services and housing operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.