Three Vancouver homeless shelters that were facing closure at the end of the month will continue to operate, at least until next year.

The provincial government has provided approximately $8 million to maintain three temporary winter shelters past their April 30 closure dates.

The Homeless Emergency Action Team, or HEAT, shelters offer temporary cold-weather lodgings to more than 300 people at three locations in Vancouver.

Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman has announced funding for the shelters to remain open through the summer months.

The government has come under fire for the bad optics of closing shelters within weeks of the end of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, although the temporary shelters always close when the weather begins to warm up.

The shelters will be phased out as other promised social housing projects for Vancouver are completed.