Brian Canning said he popped by the presentation unit in Chilliwack to see what was on offer in terms of amenities people with multiple barriers. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Presentation unit parked in Chilliwack showed off housing benefits

Almost 50 people came by over the two days it was parked for a little tour

The unit showed how cosy a room of one’s own could be for someone coming off the streets.

Forty-eight people stopped by the BC Housing’s supportive housing presentation suite, parked in front of the Alliance Church Sept. 11-12 this week in Chilliwack.

The unit was being showcased, on the heels of info meetings, as an example of the type of safe and secure housing, staffed 24/7, being built across the province under the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program.

READ MORE: Supportive projects eyed by BC Housing

This latest project will the subject of upcoming rezoning hearing at city hall on Sept. 18.

Chilliwack resident Brian Canning, who said he often advocates for street people, said he visited the presentation unit Wednesday to see what there was in terms of private washroom and shared laundry facilities, since people who use the emergency shelters need them.

“Everybody should have a chance,” Canning said. “There multiple barriers out there. Everybody needs help.”

There were conceptual drawings showing the layout in the demo suite, and storyboards explaining services.

Once they move in, the tenants will get help on-site with their addictions, health and housing challenges.

An ICM team will be based on-site that includes nurses, addiction doctors, psychiatrist, peer support worker and Indigenous Cultural Liaison workers.

Tenants will share a communal kitchen, dining space, medical rooms, and have a private room to themselves.

Help will range from referral to health care, counselling, mental health and addiction services, trauma-informed care and employment opportunities. Outreach support workers will be available to assist with income issues, viewing apartments and more. Like the thousands of modular units under construction across B.C., this latest proposal is for 46 permanent units to be built on three properties in the 45000-block of Trethewey Avenue.

Since January 2018, four housing projects to tackle homelessness, mental health and/or addiction issues in Chilliwack have been proposed or are under construction:

•Modular supportive housing in the 45000-block of Trethewey Avenue – 46 units (proposed); Youth treatment centre, 45456 Yale Rd. – 20 units (in development);

•Modular supportive housing, 45944 Yale Rd. – 46 units (in development); and

• Salvation Army temporary modular shelter, 45748 Yale Rd. – 46 shelter beds (open).

That’s in addition to the 36-unit apartment building under construction at Ruth & Naomi’s Mission downtown.


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Lindsay Lafreniere welcomed visitors to BC Housing’s supportive housing presentation suite Sept. 11-12 in Chilliwack. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

BC Housing storyboard explains the varied support services that come with supportive housing. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

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