Chilliwack’s second supportive housing facility had its grand opening Friday.
Although residents were slated to move in to the 46-unit building on Trethewey Avenue by the end of November, officials say security equipment delays will add several weeks or a month to that timeline.
“It’s such a wonderful thing to see that our people are going to be taken care of,” said Helen Joe, board member of the First Nations Health Authority, who led the prayer at the opening. “And I don’t mean just our aboriginal people, I mean our people, all our people.”
Residents will have private apartments with a washroom and mini kitchen, with access to life skills and job training, health services, meals and opportunities for volunteer work.
“Everyone deserves stable housing and these new supportive homes will give people experiencing homelessness in Chilliwack the foundation they need to move forward with their lives,” Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission told attendees at the opening.
He went on to praise Chilliwack’s proactive approach to addressing homelessness.
“Chilliwack has been one of our strongest partners, having already opened 46 units of supportive housing (on Yale Road), and that’s just amazing,” D’Eith said. “We’re thrilled that we can continue to build on this partnership to help even more people in need with these homes.”
This $9-million project funded by provincial government is part of the Rapid Response to Homelessness program is aimed at addressing the B.C.-wide housing crisis.
Gratitude was expressed by Mayor Ken Popove for the provincial recognition and support for Chilliwack through this type of investment.
“We would like to extend our gratitude to the Province for their continued investment in our community,” said Mayor Popove. “The City of Chilliwack has been advocating for supportive housing since the implementation of our 2016 Homelessness Action Plan, and this opening goes to show the power of working as a team.’
It will be run by RainCity Housing and Support Services Society.
“We are excited to be able to welcome 46 Chilliwack citizens into their new homes and are pleased to be a part of addressing homelessness in Chilliwack through the provision of safe, supported and affordable housing,” said Catharine Hume, co-executive director, RainCity Housing.
“We are looking forward to getting to know the people who will be moving in and building relationships with our neighbours.”
Fraser Health will provide additional support to tenants at the Trethewey Avenue site through the Chilliwack Intensive Case Management (ICM) team. The team will be based out of the other supportive housing complex at 45944 Yale Rd.