Emergency Shelter & Social Housing

Emergency Shelter & Social Housing

It is virtually impossible to begin to improve your life when you don’t have a safe and secure place to call home. First United provides low-barrier emergency shelter and social housing in our three Vancouver buildings.


First United operates a year-round shelter, providing 60 beds each night, with space for 40 men and 20 women in separate areas. Clients have 24 hour access to the building and enjoy three meals a day, seven days a week. As a low-barrier shelter, we welcome people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to access support from other providers. That means we support the most vulnerable people in our city, our neighbours with nowhere else to turn.

We are flexible to the unique situations of each individual. Every client is paired with a case planner who works with them to identify and work towards goals related to housing, wellness, income security, and overall stability. We welcome clients with well-behaved pets and those active in addiction. Ours is a trans-inclusive place, and we offer space specifically for self-identified women.

For bed availability call 604-839-6880.


Through our sister society, First United Church Social Housing Society, First United manages a total of 189 units of affordable housing in the Downtown Eastside and Mount Pleasant neighbourhoods.

First United Church Housing Society was established in 1981, and is governed by its own board of directors.

We use the provincial Housing Registry to manage applications and fill vacancies when they become available.  To apply for housing with First United, please complete the Housing Registry form hosted by BC Housing here. 

Support for our work

Funding for the First United Emergency Shelter Program is from BC Housing. Recent capital projects have been funded by BC Housing, The City of Vancouver, Hockey Helps the Homeless, The Aviva Community Fund, West Van United Church, and the United Church of Canada. We extend our thanks to all our capital project sponsors.