Fifty new units of permanent supportive housing are coming to Campbell River as part of a partnership between the province through BC Housing and the City of Campbell River.
“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 North Island MLA Claire Trevena. “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 project will be located at 580 Dogwood Street. The goal is to provide homes for people living at the former Rose Bowl restaurant, which was purchased as bridge housing by the province earlier this month, as well as other local people who are experiencing homelessness. After the new tenants are moved in, BC Housing wil revisit the use of the Rose Bowl site in conjunction with the community to ensure the proper needs are met. The new facility will be operated by the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society, and staff will be onsite 24/7 providing outreach services, skills training and meal preparation. Health referrals will also be provided.
“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, 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 new project will be available to people aged 19 and up who have a history with homelessness and need additional supports to remain housed. According to the Campbell River Urban Indigenous Housing Group, around half of the people experiencing homelessness in the city identify as Indigenous. To ensure the project is culturally appropriate and welcoming, it was designed in consultation with the Urban Indigenous Housing Group.
“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.
The project does not require a rezoning from the city, and will be expedited through the development process. BC Housing will be entering into a long-term lease with the city for use of the site. Construction is expected to start in the fall, with residents anticipated to move in in December 2020.
“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 Andy Adams, mayor, Campbell River. “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.”