Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Health Centre a step closer to reality
Released by the BC Gov't/Voice file photo
Renovations have begun on the old Days Inn which will transform it into a Health Centre for at-risk individuals.
eople who are homeless or at risk will soon have access to supportive housing and onsite health services now that renovations have started at Chilliwack Health and Housing Contact Centre.
When complete, the two-storey former hotel located at 8583 Young Rd. in Chilliwack will provide 22 supportive housing apartments for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, managed and operated by Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS). The development will also include a health contact centre which will provide a broad range of community support services delivered by PCRS and Fraser Health.
"The Health and Housing Contact Centre in Chilliwack grew out of the extensive community and government collaboration and support. The centre will provide much needed affordable housing, health and community supports, and quality of life for those in need in Chilliwack. It took the community to make this project happen. This is a fantastic community, and I know we can all count on the entire community to help the residents and service recipients to achieve their hopes, dreams and potential," said Ingrid Kastens, executive director, Pacific Community Resources Society in a release on Friday.
The B.C. government is providing close to $3.4 million for the renovations and approximately $230,000 in annual operational funding for the residential component.
"Our government believes in strong partnerships with local governments and community partners through which we’re increasing the number of supportive housing options available to people most at risk in our community, as well as across the province, said MLA John Les. "Chilliwack Health and Housing Contact Centre is an excellent example of this, providing our community’s most vulnerable with 22 apartments of supportive housing and health services in one centralized location."
The City of Chilliwack will provide $500,000 and the Pacific Community Resources Society will contribute $100,000 in equity towards the project.
"A tremendous amount of time and effort by so many has gone into forging the vision of what this centre will offer and mean to our community’s most vulnerable. We are extremely pleased that this project is moving forward and, with the commencement of renovations, will be ready to further serve those at risk in our community," said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz in the same release.
The Real Estate Foundation of B.C. will contribute $50,000.
"At the Real Estate Foundation of B.C., we believe that affordable housing is a key piece of a sustainable community. We are pleased that we can contribute to this project, which will make it easier for those at risk of homelessness to access the housing and services they need," said Jack Wong, CEO, Real Estate Foundation.
Fraser Health will contribute $33,000 in annual operational funding for the residential component and $25,000 annually for three years toward the operating costs of the Health Contact Centre. Fraser Health also will make significant contributions through primary-care, mental-health and substance-use services provided in the centre.
"Fraser Health has been working to reach out and support people who are at risk of homelessness and who have mental-health or substance-use challenges in settings that best meet those needs. Having both supportive housing and health services in one location will make a difference in the lives of many people in our community," explained Nigel Murray, president and chief executive officer, Fraser Health.
Renovations will include life and safety upgrades to the existing building and the addition of small kitchens to the suites to create self-contained studio units. Renovations are anticipated to be complete by summer 2013.
Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $3.2 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 97,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial housing programs and services.
Under BC’s Family Agenda, government is committed to improving housing for low-income families, seniors and people experiencing homelessness.
In 2011-12, the B.C. government invested over $4.1 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 1,100 households in Chilliwack.
Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS), a non-profit community social services agency created in 1984, provides a broad range of services to support children, youth, families and adults from Vancouver to Chilliwack and Hope, including housing, addiction services, employment, alternative education, youth and family services, and immigrant supports. PCRS serves more than 10,000 individuals a year.
To learn more about provincial housing programs and services, visit: www.bchousing.org
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