New permanent supportive homes coming to Campbell River

New permanent supportive homes coming to Campbell River
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The former Rosebowl Restaurant has converted into temporary bridge housing while the new site gets constructed.

The B.C. government, in partnership with the City of Campbell River, has announced plans to build 50 new permanent supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness within the community.

The project will be located at 580 Dogwood Street and will offer accommodations to people who have moved into the former Rose Bowl Restaurant bridge housing facility, among others. Once the new permanent housing project is complete, BC Housing will consult with the community about redeveloping the former Rose Bowl Restaurant site into affordable housing.

“These homes will give residents the dignity of having a safe and secure place of their own, with wraparound supports and services to help them build a better life,” said Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island. “We worked closely with the city to find a location for a supportive housing project, and we are thrilled that we were able to come together so quickly to create these new homes.”

The province is investing $10.9 million into the new project, while the City of Campbell River will be allotting $855,000. An annual operating subsidy of approximately $1.18 million from the BC Government is also part of the agreement for the new development.

“We have been working closely with BC Housing for a number of years to establish a fully managed facility like this, with services that will be key for people wanting to commit to stable housing and get the assistance that will make such a huge difference in their lives,” said Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams. “The city’s close partnership with BC Housing has already helped provide a range of much-needed housing options for people in our community. We recognize this benefits our entire community and are extremely grateful to BC Housing and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for their ongoing commitment as we work together to support vulnerable people.”

At the new Dogwood Street location, the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society will operate the facility, while providing 24/7 staff and outreach services, according to the B.C. government. These services will include daily living skills training and meal preparation, as well as referral to health services.

“We are pleased to work with the province and BC Housing to operate the supportive housing project in Campbell River,” said Taryn O’Flanagan, executive director of the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society. “As an organization, we have seen a significant need for long-term supportive housing in this community and we feel fortunate that the Province has recognized and supported this project.”

The B.C. government says nearly half of the people experiencing homelessness in Campbell River identify as Indigenous, so the new project was informed by the Campbell River Urban Indigenous Housing Group to ensure it will be culturally appropriate.

“This has been a great opportunity for the Urban Indigenous Housing Committee to contribute to and influence the design of the supportive housing project for Campbell River,” said Audrey Wilson, executive director, Laichwiltach Family Society Group and Urban Indigenous Housing Group committee member.

Construction on the permanent housing is slated to begin this fall, with residents moving in as early as December 2020.

In addition to the Dogwood St. project, the Province is working on delivering around 120 more affordable homes for people in Campbell River.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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