Session 1: Collaborative Approaches to Addressing Homelessness in British Columbia

Jennifer Miller, Executive Director – Engagement and Encampment Response Branch, Homelessness, Partnerships and Housing Supports Division Ministry of Housing.

Allison Dunnet, Executive Director and Strategic Advisor on Homelessness, BC Housing

Daryn Martiniuk, Executive Director, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction 

Roxanne Blemings, Senior Director, Ministry of Health


Homelessness has increased in numbers and complexity across British Columbia, with more people sheltering in tent, vehicle, and structure encampments. This trend is the product of various intersecting issues, such as increasing housing costs, poverty, and systemic racism and discrimination, which make every person’s experience of homelessness unique. Within this context, solutions to homelessness require collaborative actions from a range of partners, including The Province of BC, regional health authorities, local governments, and non-profit service providers.

This session will focus on the Homeless Encampment Action Response Team (HEART) and the Homeless Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing (HEARTH), new programs created by the Province under the Belonging in BC Homelessness Plan. These new programs aspire to align with and support community partners to create and sustain effective systems for preventing and resolving encampments and homelessness.

The Justice Summit maintains the principles of non-partisanship, non-attribution, and respect for organizational and statutory independence. Therefore, participant contributions will not be attributed to specific individuals or organizations. Moreover, while the 2023 Justice Summit will be convened through a virtual format, the recording of any sessions by participants is strictly prohibited. We are grateful for the participation of members of the judiciary in the Justice Summits. We trust, consistent with previous years, that everyone will respect that because of the courts’ independent role, judges and judicial staff participate as observers and will not be commenting on, endorsing or suggesting policy choices, recommendations or other substantive matters.