15:39 PM

New units coming for people experiencing homelessness in Campbell River

CAMPBELL RIVER - People experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Campbell River will soon have access to 40 temporary units with supports created through a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, and the City of Campbell River.

“I’m excited that our government is partnering with the City of Campbell River for the creation of HEARTH Village,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “This project was first proposed at the Union of BC Municipalities conference in September 2023, and I’m proud of how quickly we’ve been able to move from concept to construction. This project also couldn’t have happened without the support of Mental Health and Addictions Minister Jennifer Whiteside and local community members.”

Located at 1299 Homewood Rd., the site will be known as the HEARTH Village and will have individual units for as many as 40 people to sleep and store their belongings, as well as a shared amenity space and washrooms. An experienced non-profit organization is being retained to operate HEARTH Village. Staff will be on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will provide support services, such as daily meals, access to skills training, and health and community support referrals.

“People sheltering outdoors need a safe space to sleep, and through our new Homelessness Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing (HEARTH) program, we’re providing that option along with basic amenities,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We will continue to work with the City of Campbell River and other municipalities throughout the province to develop more housing options so people in our communities have options to move indoors.”

HEARTH Village was a concept started by City and supported by the Table of Partners, which included the Downtown Campbell River Business Improvement Association and service providers. The Province, through BC Housing, is providing capital costs and funding, which is currently being determined. The City of Campbell River is providing the land for the project, as well as funding the civil works and site preparation costs. It is expected that HEARTH Village could open by mid-2024.

“Campbell River has an urgent need to serve people who are experiencing homelessness and to help address encampments and associated challenges in our community,” said Kermit Dahl, mayor of Campbell River. “In keeping with city council’s commitment to community health and safety, our partnership with the Province will reduce some of the challenges our community is experiencing and will provide new, safe housing options.”

The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes delivered or underway, including approximately 280 in Campbell River.

Learn More:

For details about the project, including public engagement, visit: http://www.letstalkhousingbc.ca/campbell-river-homewood-road

For information about the HEART and HEARTH programs, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/homelessness-services/HEART-HEARTH

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

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