Approximately 50 new supportive homes are to be developed in Mission for people experiencing homeless, according to a joint announcement from the City of Mission, BC Housing and Mission Community Services Society (MCSS).
Dr. Humes Memorial Park will be transformed into modular homes for those currently, or at risk of, having no permanent shelter. The park was selected due its proximity to community and healthcare services, according to the Aug. 20 release.
“Our government is working quickly with our partners to develop supportive housing for the people who need it most,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “Everyone deserves safe and stable housing, and this new project will give vulnerable people in Mission the supports and services they need to move forward with their lives.”
The province is spending around $12.3 million on the project, and MCSS will be provided $1.4 million for annual operating costs. A $100,000 grant for start-up costs is also being provided.
The homes located at 7460 Hurd St. will provide residents with support services, daily meals, life-skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental-health resources, as well as access to addiction treatment and recovery services, the release says. Two staff members will always be on site.
“MCSS is proud to partner with BC Housing to offer more supportive housing in Mission,” said Michelle Puffer, MCSS’s executive director. “We believe this addition to the housing continuum already in Mission will continue to help support our vulnerable population in achieving a stable-housing environment, and that this will enable clients to keep positively moving forward.”
A community-advisory committee will oversee the facility’s integration into the nearby community, and address questions and concerns of people living close by, the release says.
The city plans to reach out to the community and ask what improvements can be made to the neighbourhood’s other park, Kinsmen West Park.
More details about the project will be shared during an information session on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14, and will allow questions from the community.
“This housing is long overdue, and it will fill an important gap for people who want to live independently with easy access to supports,” said Mayor Paul Horn. “We have been very successful in partnering with BC Housing and MCSS in the past, and this project is the next step in that collaboration. We still have work to do, but this is a much-needed project, and we are excited to see it happening.”
A development-variance permit has been submitted by MCSS and BC Housing, and future updates on construction dates will be provided by the latter.
“This new project will help address the lack of housing options for people in Mission facing complex challenges,” said Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “Too many people have been forced to live in shelters or on the street. Thank you to our project partners for working with us to help finally provide those in need a place of their own to call home.”
More information about the project, community advisory committee and information sessions can be found online here.