As the doors officially opened at a new supportive and affordable housing development for Aboriginal Youth and Elders in Nanaimo, a neighbouring youth safe house broke ground.
Salish Lelum, at 479 Tenth St., has 18 apartments of supportive housing. Eight apartments are designated for elders and ten are for Aboriginal youth. Constructed to LEED Silver standards, Salish Lelum will be managed and operated by the Salish Lelum Housing Society - an arm's length society to the Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Society.
The Province provided $3.08 million for the Salish Lelum housing project and will also provide an annual operational subsidy of $52,700. Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Society is leasing the land to the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation through a 60-year lease. The City of Nanaimo waived development cost charges of $115,906. This development is part of the partnership between the Province and the City of Nanaimo to build up to 160 units of supportive housing in the community.
Immediately after the opening, the Salish Lelum Housing Society celebrated the groundbreaking of a new youth safe house adjacent to the new housing development that has $375,000 in provincial funding through the Ministry of Children and Family Development and $100,000 through the Vancouver Island Health Authority. The City of Nanaimo will waive development cost charges of approximately $16,500.
Once complete the safe house will offer temporary emergency shelter for up to eight youth between the ages of 14 and 19. It will provide a safe and supportive environment for vulnerable youth, where they can meet their basic physical needs, have a safe, warm place to sleep, and get help in accessing services for their longer term needs.
This safe house will replace the existing youth safe house on site, which is operating in an older home, with four beds and one washroom. For the past three years, the Ministry of Children and Family Development has provided operational funding of approximately $325,000 per year. The new youth safe house - slated for completion in October 2011 - will offer eight beds, two full washrooms, updated amenities and it will be wheelchair accessible.
- Over the last decade, the province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 93,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
- In Nanaimo, the government will invest close to $7 million this year to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 2,000 low-income individuals, seniors and families.
- Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Society has been working to help improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people living in an urban environment since 1965. They have grown from a coffee drop-in to an agency that offers education and training programs, health and counselling services, social service programs and a wide variety of special cultural events and activities in the community.
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development is committed to ensuring the safety of B.C.'s children and youth, by providing services for vulnerable youth engaged in high-risk activities.
- The youth services budget for 2011-12 is $38 million - an increase of $12 million since 2000-01.
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development funds a range of youth services that include outreach workers, youth support workers, youth and family mediation, guardianship, safe house and emergency shelter beds, transitional housing, youth agreements, and support services to sexually exploited youth - in addition to programs like the Youth Education Assistance Fund and Agreements with Young Adults.
- Safe houses and emergency shelters provide safe and supportive short-term accommodation for youth who wish to leave the streets or other unsafe situations. The Ministry of Children and Family Development provides funding for approximately 85 safe housing and emergency shelter beds across B.C.
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, visit: www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/PHI
To learn more about Ministry of Children and Family Development services for vulnerable youth, visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/youth/index.htm
604 318-4419 cell
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development
City of Nanaimo