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Our housing is for individuals who are poorly served elsewhere in the community due to their physical health, mental health, behavioural issues, substance dependencies, forensic history, and for those who are homeless.
We will not discriminate against people with: a mental health diagnosis | physical disabilities and/or ailments | a history of criminal activity and/or involvement in the criminal justice system | active alcohol, and/or drug use | any combination of the above, or in need of housing
In 1991, psychiatric nurse Liz Evans began supporting marginalized people from a single-room occupancy hotel in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The area was the epicentre of a wave of overdose deaths and the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infections in the Western World. Poverty and exclusion were increasing along with homelessness and drug use.
By providing accommodation and harm reduction at the Portland Hotel, Liz introduced the concept of Housing First to North America. It’s an approach in which people experiencing homelessness are offered housing as quickly as possible, without preconditions.
The Portland Hotel Society was incorporated in August 1993.
We changed our name to PHS Community Services Society in July 2003.
This was to reflect our growth from the initial Portland Hotel, expanding to provide more housing and more supportive programs that promote social inclusion and human rights for the most under-served members of society.
Since its inception, PHS has developed and delivered innovative programming for people otherwise excluded from services. In 2003, PHS opened Insite, North America’s first legal supervised injection site, and more recently we’ve been leading with innovative safe supply programs.
PHS is only able to support the most marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and Inner Victoria because of the ongoing belief and support of key partner organizations and our funders. Thank you for making this possible.
Our Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors
View meeting minutes from the Community Advisory Committee for Temporary Modular Housing