Overdose Prevention and Homelessness

As Mayor, Kennedy Stewart took bold action to protect our city from the COVID-19 pandemic and make sure our neighbours most impacted by homelessness and overdoses got the support they needed.

COVID-19 health restrictions reduced shelter and SRO capacity, exacerbating homelessness and making the crisis more visible than ever before. In response, Kennedy secured record investments in social and supportive housing and unlocked $30 million in city contributions to address the growing number of people who need shelter.

The pandemic also made the illicit drug supply far more deadly, leading to hundreds of people's tragic deaths. That’s why Kennedy has been focussed on saving lives by expanding harm reduction facilities, advocating for safe supply, and working with Ottawa to decriminalize drugs in Vancouver and instead embrace a healthcare approach.

Key Accomplishments:

  • Established the Mayor’s Overdose Emergency Task Force.

  • Passed motion to decriminalize drugs through a federal exemption.

  • Expanded harm reduction facilities, including a new overdose prevention site Downtown.

  • Unlocked $30 million in emergency funding to provide housing for homeless residents.

  • Supports ban of police street checks and advocated for the Province to review the Police Act that is now underway.

  • Secured a half-billion-dollar investment in social and supportive housing from the provincial and federal government.

  • Secured $33 million in provincial investment to create thousands of new childcare spaces to help working families.