Temporary hostel for visitors and workers in Vancouver during 2010 Winter Games

    Request posted today for qualified service partners

    VANCOUVER, May 22 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will be setting up one or more
low-cost temporary hostels for people seeking employment or youth travellers
on a limited budget coming to take part in Games-related celebrations who do
not have a place to stay during the Games. The temporary hostel(s) help meet a
commitment made in the bid for the Games that pressure would not be placed on
existing homeless shelters or low-income housing as a result of staging the
    "We know from the experience at past Games that as the Games approach,
many people, especially young adults, come to the Host City to look for
temporary work or to enjoy the atmosphere and fun, and won't have arranged a
place to stay," said Donna Wilson, VANOC executive vice president, people and
sustainability. "We want to minimize any pressure on existing homeless
shelters or low-income housing."
    The temporary hostel(s), which will operate from November 15, 2009
through March 15, 2010, will provide basic accommodation and showers for
guests. A modest fee will be charged to guests by the hostel operator. An
estimated 100 people a night are expected in mid-November, with a peak of
around 400 people during the height of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games
in February, before tapering off again in March. These estimates are based on
past demands at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games and have been
adjusted to reflect Vancouver's size, location and temperate climate.
    Today, VANOC posted a request for expressions of interest on BC Bid
(www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca) from organizations with expertise in operating similar
accommodation facilities, along with the space and personnel needed to set up
and run the hostel(s). This project has the potential to provide a training
and capacity building opportunity for staff and volunteers. Proposals will be
accepted until June 22.
    After the Games, VANOC and the temporary shelter operator will work to
donate furniture and equipment purchased for the hostel(s) to the emergency
shelter system.
    This project is one way that VANOC is delivering on the Inner-City
Inclusivity Commitments -developed during the bid for the Games - to provide
alternative forms of temporary accommodation for Winter Games visitors. In
addition to this project, last year VANOC contributed funding to the expansion
of Covenant House, supporting the creation of 32 new transitional housing beds
for youth aged 16 to 22. Primary funding was provided by the Government of
Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver. Covenant
House Vancouver is a shelter and resource centre for homeless youth.

    About VANOC

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Please visit www.vancouver2010.com for
more information.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Jennifer Young, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-3589, jennifer_young@vancouver2010.com

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