what we do

For a complete list of our housing and other services and their contact numbers, please view our list of housing programs and services.

RainCity Housing provides innovative, specialized housing and support services for people living with mental illness, addictions and other challenges. By designing programs based on research, assessment, evaluation, and implementation of best practices, RainCity Housing is leading the way in developing solutions to end homelessness.

The homeless are not homogenous. By offering a variety of housing and support options, RainCity Housing can ensure that appropriate, supportive environments are available to our clients.

The RainCity Housing family of programs includes emergency housing, transitional housing, women’s housing, long term housing, outreach programs, food services and community living support. Once an applicant and our staff determine which is the best housing program for that individual, the applicant is shortlisted.

Many of the RainCity Housing programs operate from a low barrier, housing first perspective – meaning that we do not require that people meet certain standards of behaviour, or are compliant with mental health or addiction treatment plans, to receive services and housing support from us. Instead, we welcome them to a community of people experiencing similar challenges.

housing first

RainCity Housing has been a leader in developing a ‘Housing First’ approach with its clients, providing supported housing to those with challenging behaviours, active substance use, and no psychiatric treatment links or medication use.

RainCity Housing is unique in our ‘Housing First’ philosophy, as the majority of the current supported housing programs in Vancouver require that applicants achieve a substantial measure of “housing readiness” before they can access the housing. Typically this means the client must be stable, linked with treatment services, able to self-administer medications and have minimal levels of challenging behaviour.

By providing services to those who are not considered ‘housing ready’ by other organizations, RainCity Housing has been successful in breaking the cycles of chronic homelessness, instability and substance use for their clients by providing assertive interventions within a high tolerance environment.

The goal is not simply to get people off the streets but to provide a comprehensive array of supports that assist people in achieving stability which allows them to move forward with their lives. By providing housing and support in a client-centred environment, RainCity Housing engages clients to create an atmosphere of trust where opportunities for change can be discovered.

While most current RainCity Housing programs accept people who actively use substances or choose not to receive mental health treatment, the Princess Rooms and The Vivian are explicitly designed as Housing First programs. They provide housing and intensive support for some of the most chronically homeless and challenging people in our community.

To date, the outcomes of these two programs have exceeded our expectations. We have seen that with the right supports and opportunities, people will choose health and stability and to move towards a better life for themselves. In this way, Housing First programs make an effective and necessary contribution to the health of any large urban community.