The BC Government has purchased the former Rose Bowl Restaurant in Campbell River and will be converting it into bridge housing for locals experiencing homelessness.
The Rose Bowl Restaurant building, purchased by the Province through BC Housing for $985,000, is located at 1221 Cedar St. in Campbell River.
“This project will provide people in our community with a safe place to sleep while we work with our partners to build the permanent homes they deserve,” said Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island.
“We know our community is safer and healthier when everyone has a place to call home, with supports and services to help them succeed, and we are working closely with the city to build new permanent supportive housing as fast as possible.”
According to the BC Government, renovations to the building will begin immediately to create space for 20 beds.
Residents on site will be provided with a bed, showers and meals to go along with similar support services found in permanent supportive housing.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing says that Vancouver Island Mental Health Society will oversee day-to-day management of the site, with staff in the facility around the clock.
“We are pleased to partner with the Province and BC Housing to operate this bridge housing for the homeless in Campbell River,” said Taryn O’Flanagan, CEO, Vancouver Island Mental Health Society. “Having a place to stay is an important step in maintaining the well-being of vulnerable people in this community.”
Campbell River Mayor, Andy Adams, said in a press release that he appreciates the “quick action” by the BC Government in order to ensure temporary housing is available for those in need.
“Establishing bridge housing in this location, run by an organization with proven experience in our community, will support people who have limited or no alternatives for housing. This is also welcome as it bridges services until longer-term supportive housing is available, a much-needed form of housing in Campbell River,” said Mayor Adams.
With the conversion work imminent, the Ministry is expecting the new housing facility to open in August.
The plan is to operate the Rose Bowl site until a new permanent supportive Campbell River housing project is in place.
According to the government, BC Housing is already working with the city to explore potential permanent locations.
Once new permanent supportive housing is built and the bridge housing at the Rose Bowl Restaurant is no longer needed, BC Housing will engage with the community about redeveloping the site at 1221 Cedar St. into an affordable housing project.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province of BC has looked for various opportunities to convert facilities into safe temporary housing, including Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.