14:19 PM

New 25-bed shelter opens in Salmon Arm

SALMON ARM - People experiencing homelessness in Salmon Arm have access to a safe and secure place to stay, with the opening of a new long-term shelter on 341 Fraser Ave.

"These new permanent spaces will benefit the entire Salmon Arm community, as they ensure vulnerable people have a safe, warm place to stay not just during winter months but year- round," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "I would like to thank the City of Salmon Arm for working with us so diligently to get these spaces up and running. They are an important step towards ensuring everyone in the community has permanent, secure housing."

The shelter is open year-round, 24 hours a day and provides 25 beds for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the community, as well as daily meals and support services. The Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap Revelstoke (CMHA-SR) is operating the shelter.

The Province, through BC Housing, and the City of Salmon Arm worked together to open the modular shelter on a city-owned lot. BC Housing and the city negotiated a lease on the site for 10 years, with an option to extend for another five years. BC Housing will provide approximately $1.5 million in annual operating funding for the shelter.

"Access to safe, low-barrier shelter for the unhoused is a vital component of a healthy community," said Alan Harrison, mayor of Salmon Arm. "Providing a warm, safe place to stay is the first step in helping people move forward. The City of Salmon Arm is grateful for the work of BC Housing and CMHA for helping to make that a reality."

The shelter repurposes pre-existing modular units, allowing it to be built quickly and at a lower cost.

"We are pleased to open the Marshlands shelter, and that unhoused individuals in our community will have access to year-round 24/7 shelter services," said Dawn Dunlop, executive director of CMHA-SR. "Marshlands will connect individuals to resources and supports, that will foster individuals moving into permanent stable housing."

As part of government's new Homes for People action plan, the Province is implementing a new homelessness framework, Belonging in BC, to prevent and reduce homelessness. While shelters provide immediate relief to people experiencing homelessness and benefit the community by bringing residents indoors, they are only one part of the housing system. Moving people into permanent, stable housing benefits everyone. Since 2017, the Province has more than 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including more than 170 homes in Salmon Arm.

Learn More:

To learn about government's new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for people in British Columbia, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/