New shelter opens for people in need in Vernon
VERNON - A new, secure permanent shelter for people experiencing homelessness, opening this week, will offer people the support they need to begin to regroup.
"Our Place provides a welcome, needed refuge from living on the street," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "Our government recognizes that shelters are only an early part of the solution when people are homeless, and that is why we are also building supportive housing for the community that will open in the spring."
The Our Place shelter features 46 shelter beds, a dining room, commercial kitchen, laundry facilities and washrooms. Beds are also available for people with disabilities.
"The community is very pleased to see Our Place shelter open and ready to receive guests," said Victor Cumming, mayor, City of Vernon. "Housing is one of the three fundamental necessities of life, and by providing shelter for people who need it, we are helping them stay warm and dry in the short term and hopefully we can help assist them to obtain permanent accommodation as quickly as possible. Many thanks to BC Housing."
Turning Points Collaborative Society will operate the shelter and provide guests with meal services, along with access to life skills training, employment programs and counselling, as well as health and legal services through a community network.
"Our Place is an important first step in homelessness prevention," said Randene Wejr, co- executive director, Turning Points Collaborative. "Thanks to our housing partners and community stakeholders for supporting this project to help people experiencing homelessness toward the first steps to recovery."
Our Place will open on March 28, 2019, and will be open 24 hours a day, year-round.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is a part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- In October 2018, 161 people in the City of Vernon identified as experiencing homelessness.
- The land for the permanent supportive shelter project was provided by Turning Points Collaborative Society.
- Vernon's high-barrier shelter, Howard House, is closing due to its aging, obsolete building.
- My Place, a new permanent supportive housing project is scheduled to open in spring 2019. Located at 3500 - 27th Ave., this housing will offer 52 new units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.
- To guide further action on homelessness in B.C., the Province has launched the Office of Homelessness Coordination, to move beyond reactive emergency responses to homelessness and toward a co-ordinated, effective approach that prevents people from becoming homeless in the first place.
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
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
To find out more about Turning Points Collaborative Society, visit: turningpoints.ngo
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing