09:35 AM

More than 150 people move out of tents and into supportive housing in Nanaimo

NANAIMO – People experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo are settling into their new homes, following a successful move into two supportive housing sites in the community.

The Province partnered with the City of Nanaimo to help people get out of the cold winter weather and into supportive modular housing at Newcastle Place, and Labieux Road.

“A little help, and a place to call home can be the difference between a life of despair, and hope for the future,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is proud to work with partners to take quick action and safely move people from the streets and tents into homes where they are safe, welcome and supported. I am deeply grateful to all the frontline workers and volunteers who helped move people into their new homes. This is a great example of how working together to help people most in need helps the entire community.”

Staff from the Island Crisis Care Society and the Pacifica Housing Advisory Association, BC Housing, City of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Canadian Mental Health Association and PHS Community Services Society helped co-ordinate the move, including transportation, storage and other individual supports for the new residents.

“I am grateful for the Province’s support in our joint efforts to respond to Nanaimo’s homeless crisis and look forward to working with BC Housing as the city implements its Affordable Housing Strategy,” said Leonard Krog, mayor, City of Nanaimo.

Pacifica Housing Advisory Association is operating the 2020 Labieux Road site, while Island Crisis Care Society is the operator for Newcastle Place at 250 Terminal Avenue North.

Each site will have a minimum of three staff available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure residents are supported and any neighbourhood concerns are promptly addressed. Each site also has an operations manager, cooks, and property maintenance and support workers. Security is also available on site 24 hours a day.

“Now that we have moved our tenants into the Supportive Housing, we are excited to build community, provide the needed supports, and work closely with our neighbours to facilitate strong relationships,” said Angela McNulty-Buell, director of support services, Pacifica Housing.

A community advisory committee will be created to discuss any emergent and ongoing issues regarding building and community safety.

“Island Crisis Care Society is looking forward to welcoming the residents to Newcastle Place and giving people a warm, dry home,” said Violet Hayes, executive director, Island Crisis Care Society.

The supportive housing at Terminal Ave. and Labieux Rd. is an interim solution while BC Housing and the city continue to identify more opportunities to increase the supply of supportive and affordable housing in Nanaimo.

Quick Facts:

  • The Labieux Rd. project includes approximately 90 units of modular housing, while the Terminal Ave. project feature approximately 80 units.
  • Fifteen additional shelter beds at St. Peter’s Church and eight shelter beds at the Unitarian Church have also opened in Nanaimo.
  • The Vancouver Island Health Authority will continue to provide a range of inpatient and outpatient services to support people including mental health and substance use, treatment services, primary care and public health services. Services and referrals will be provided on site.
  • Through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program, the Province is investing $291 million to build 2,000 homes around the province and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services. These new homes have been confirmed in 22 B.C. communities.More than 650 homes are now open, with the remaining 1,400 underway in communities across the province.
  • Budget 2018 provides further supports for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness by investing in an additional 2,500 new homes with 24/7 support services over the next 10 years.

Learn More:

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/rapid-response-homelessness

Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/supportive-housing-fund

Media Contacts:

Media Relations
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 698-9191

Rajvir Rao
BC Housing
604 456-8917