Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz speaks at the site of the future Health and Housing Contact Centre as renovations began Friday. The centre

Old motel undergoes transformation into supportive housing

The new Chilliwack Health and Housing Contact Centre on Young Road will provide housing for homeless and at-risk populations.

Renovations have finally started on the new Chilliwack Health and Housing Contact Centre on Young Road.

The multi-stakeholder initiative has been in the works for several years, and a ground-breaking ceremony was held Friday to signal that the project is underway.

The project was major collaborative effort embraced by a broad partnership that will soon provide housing and on-site health services to the community’s most vulnerable.

When building upgrades are complete by summer 2013, the two-storey former hotel building will feature supportive apartment units for 22 people who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless.

The contact centre will be run by Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS), with a continuum of community support services delivered by both PCRS and Fraser Health.

Funding partners included the B.C Government and B.C. Housing, as well as City of Chilliwack, PCRS, Fraser Health, the Real Estate Foundation of B.C.

Renovations this year on the old motel will include life and safety upgrades to the existing structure and the addition of small kitchens to create self-contained studio units.