Johanna Henderson is BC Healthy Communities’ Communications Manager.
In an exciting new move, the City of Campbell River is taking action to provide safe and supportive housing for community members, collaborating with BC Housing to establish 50 units of supportive housing in the community within the next two years.
The move comes after a 2018 Regional Housing Needs Assessment, conducted by BC Healthy Communities and Urban Matters, identified a number of trends affecting housing in Campbell River, including low rental vacancy rates and rising rental costs that put pressure on the region’s most vulnerable citizens. Additionally, a 2018 homeless count identified at least 81 people experiencing homelessness in Campbell River.
The announcement of the supportive housing units comes in the wake of a concerted campaign by the Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness (CRDCEH) to bring more supportive housing to the community, including delegations and letters to council. CRDCEH, a growing organization already comprised of fourteen local social service organizations, three local governments, federal and provincial officials, and a seven-person leadership team, is pleased at the announcement.
“It is fantastic to see the City and BC Housing move quickly to respond to this important housing need in our community,” said Adrian Moskal, part of the leadership team of CRDCEH. “We are eager to assist with the project wherever we can.”
BC Housing’s supportive housing model is based on small self-contained dwellings, meal programs, onsite staffing around the clock, and access to support services such as employment training, counselling and health services.
“Supportive housing will fill a gap in current housing options by offering integrated support that goes beyond providing shelter. Support includes help with securing jobs, as well as counselling and health services so that vulnerable people have both long-term shelter and services as needed to help in other aspects of their lives,” said Mayor Andy Adams.
Author Credit: Johanna Henderson