Yet another important step toward addressing homelessness in Chilliwack was taken last week.
On Friday, the provincial government announced plans for a 46-unit supportive housing project that would be located on Trethewey Avenue.
It’s the fourth project announced for Chilliwack in recent months.
Modelled after the recently approved 46-unit development slated for the former Traders Inn site on Yale Road, it will offer safe and secure housing, backed by professional support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A key component to the project will be the Intensive Case Management (ICM) team headquartered at the Yale Road location. Team members include “medical clinicians, Indigenous cultural liaisons, nurses, peer service specialists and community-support workers.”
That support is critical. Providing a safe and secure place to live is only part of the solution. Long term success is only possible if individuals struggling with addictions or mental health issues can access help.
Said Fraser Health’s Dr. Victoria Lee, vice-president for population health: “A connection to stable housing is the crucial first step. From there, the ICM team works with these vulnerable individuals to establish therapeutic relationships and to link them to a broader network of health services.”
Recovery is a process. And the first step in that process is safe and secure housing. From there, residents can better address impediments like substance use, while developing the employment and life skills necessary to be successful.
Some will still say, “nothing’s being done.”
But they’re not paying attention. In addition to the 92 units these two projects will provide, there are the 46 additional shelter beds recently opened at the Salvation Army, the expansion taking place at Ruth and Naomi’s, the Mamele’awt Qweesome and To’o Housing Society affordable housing project under construction off Yale Road, the Contact and Care Centre in operation on Hocking, the School Street project, and the 20-unit youth treatment facility recently granted rezoning near the Travel Lodge.
These are all important bricks in the construction of a more livable and caring community.
~ Greg Knill, The Progress