Every night, PHS provides shelter and homes to thousands of community members, in emergency shelter beds, converted hotels and homes, and purpose-built social housing buildings.
In 1991, the Portland Hotel became a home for people who faced with repeated evictions in the past and who were in a housing crisis. PHS’s philosophy of “meeting people where they are at” was first developed in this project, where the staff and residents worked together to create a supportive community.
The Portland Hotel was viewed as a radical departure from previous approaches to housing people experiencing homelessness and living with addiction and mental health challenges. Reversing the notion that individuals had to be “ready” for housing, PHS developed appropriate rules, mechanisms, training and support to meet the most urgent and unmet needs of this enormous and growing population.
Over time, PHS’s innovations led shifts in housing policy that have established supported hotels, new models of integrating health care and housing, and purpose-built social housing approaches now taken by governments and decision makers to address homelessness.
Today, the PHS operates 19 housing projects and 1,211 rental housing units in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.