BC Housing, partners act on recommendations of Tri-Cities supportive housing, shelter
COQUITLAM - BC Housing and local partners are acting on an independent review of the supportive housing and permanent shelter at 3030 Gordon Ave.
The review, which was commissioned by BC Housing in 2022, includes recommendations to improve the services and safety of the residents. Many of the recommendations align with work underway since the review was commissioned.
"BC Housing is working collaboratively with its partners to address the recommendations in this report and to ensure residents get the supports and services they need to thrive," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “It is important that community relations are strengthened and we look forward to exploring additional improvements and opportunities across the region to create safe and secure housing for those that need it most.”
Operated by RainCity Housing and Support Society, the facility at 3030 Gordon Ave. opened in December 2015. It provides supportive housing for 30 people and permanent shelter beds for 42 people.
The report includes recommendations for the operators of 3030 Gordon and the broader social services system to improve services, safety and engagement in and around the site. The review was initiated due to concerns brought forward by community members and municipal leaders of the Tri-Cities. External consulting firm Harry Cummings and Associates Inc. conducted the review of the site's operations.
BC Housing is continuing to work with RainCity, Fraser Health, other community partners and the Province to collectively address the feedback highlighted in the review to ensure that support services for clients are improved. BC Housing will ensure that RainCity is well supported in its continued operation of 3030 Gordon.
A number of changes have been implemented after issues were first raised at 3030 Gordon to improve operations that align with the report's recommendations, including:
- launching a peer clean team that is active in responding to requests for cleanup in the surrounding neighbourhood;
- exploring expansion of mobile response services within the Tri-Cities with Fraser Health and the City of Coquitlam, as this could reduce the number of people congregating outside 3030 Gordon seeking services;
- working with the fire department and RainCity to address concerns about the high number of false fire alarms;
- installing additional fencing across the front of the property as a safety measure to limit access to the building through the front door;
- strengthening BC Housing's non-profit operational review process with the launch of PartnerHub in April 2023, a portal that supports improved information flow between non-profit housing providers and BC Housing on operational and financial matters; and
- implementing regular attendance of RainCity Housing and Support Society at all Tri-Cities Homelessness and Housing Task Group meetings and community advisory committee meetings.
The review sought input from residents, representatives from BC Housing, RainCity, including 3030 Gordon management and staff; health and social service providers in the community; city administration representatives from Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody; RCMP; fire department; and other community organizations and stakeholders.
Selina Robinson, MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville -
“We are committed to providing the support that people who are facing homelessness need to move forward. The Province, through BC Housing, continues to increase housing options that the people in the Tri-Cities need and work with partners to strengthen the delivery of essential services in the community.”
Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam -
“Working together with community and municipal partners means vulnerable people in the Tri- cities get the right supports and services. Being proactive and building strong working relationships let us tackle the challenges we face as a community together so that we can find the right solutions for people and families.”
Richard Stewart, mayor of Coquitlam -
“Coquitlam has been a strong advocate for improved operations at the Gordon Avenue shelter with a focus on minimizing impacts to the surrounding community, while also enabling initiatives that deliver more services and supportive housing for community members experiencing homelessness, mental health and addictions. Over the coming weeks, city council and staff will be reviewing the findings of the operational review released today to learn more about the recommended actions and explore how the city can continue to support initiatives that improve services in our community.”
Catharine Hume, co-executive director, RainCity Housing and Support Society -
“On behalf of RainCity Housing, I want to thank the 3030 Gordon Staff Team for all their ongoing work to offer a safe and welcoming shelter and housing environment for people in the Tri-Cities experiencing homelessness. It is important to note that this work continues in the context of an ongoing and unabating drug poisoning public health crisis in B.C. We welcome the recommendations through this review and have begun or completed work on more than half of the RainCity specific recommendations. We look forward to our ongoing work with our partners including BC Housing, Fraser Health and municipalities in the review and identification of next steps for all the remaining recommendations while also continuing to work with these and other partners to create welcoming and inclusive spaces throughout the community for the people that we work with.”
Polly Krier, co-ordinator, Tri-Cities Homelessness and Housing Task Group -
"We are pleased the review highlighted the need to provide additional housing and supports to those experiencing homelessness in the Tri-Cities. These growing needs have been evident for several years. The report recommended that the task group should adopt a more strategic role in the community and to promote greater collaboration and actions to respond to the homelessness crisis. Having previously identified this need, we are already working with a consultant to establish our role to best support a comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness in the Tri-Cities."
- A steering committee made up of representatives from BC Housing, City of Coquitlam, City of Port Coquitlam, and the independent contractor Harry Cummings and Associates Inc. collectively developed the terms of reference for the review.
- Harry Cummings and Associates Inc. led the implementation of the review and the resulting report.
To view the full report, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Coquitlam3030GordonReviewJune302023FINALReport.pdf
To read BC Housing's action plan against its recommendations, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BCHousingResponsePlan3030GordonReview.pdf
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/