NANAIMO- A new housing development with 36 apartments and on-site support services for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness was officially opened in Nanaimo today.
The building, located at 437 Wesley St., contains 30 studio apartments, three wheelchair-accessible apartments and three one-bedroom apartments with full access to integrated support services. The four-storey building was built to LEED Gold standards and includes a communal kitchen and a tenant garden.
- The government of B.C. invested $6.04 million and is providing annual operational funding of more than $520,000.
- The City of Nanaimo provided the land, valued at approximately $560,000, and waived $116,223 in development cost charges.
- Canadian Mental Health Association - Mid Island Branch manages and operates the new building.
Ron Cantelon, MLA, Parksville-Qualicum -
"This building represents a new start for 36 people, offering them a safe, affordable home where they can be connected to the supports they need to create a better life. This is one more example of how the province is partnering with local governments and non-profit housing providers to help end homelessness here in Nanaimo and in communities across the province."
Mayor John Ruttan, City of Nanaimo -
"The City of Nanaimo is committed to addressing key social issues facing our community, including affordable housing and homelessness. It's a huge accomplishment to have the Wesley St. project complete and open to tenants. We know this building, with the help of the Canadian Mental Health Association, will change lives and benefit our city now and in to the future."
Anne Hodge, executive director, Canadian Mental Health Association - Mid Island Branch -
"Our team has been working to make the Wesley St. building a true home for the tenants. Our main goal is to make tenants feel safe and accepted in all areas of their lives so they can focus on accessing the support services they need to overcome challenges before them and on the path to a brighter future."
- The Wesley St. development is the second to open under a partnership between the government of B.C. and the city to help address homelessness. Salish Lelum, at 479 Tenth St., officially opened in June 2011 with 18 apartments of supportive housing, eight of which are designated for elders and ten are for Aboriginal youth.
- Supportive housing helps break the cycle of homelessness because it addresses the root causes of homelessness. People have a safe place to live, where they are connected to the services they need to stabilize and rebuild their lives. Supports can include mental health, addictions and medical services, income supports, as well as education, training and life-skills programs.
- 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 social housing programs and services.
- In 2011-12, The B.C. government invested over $8.1 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 1,900 Nanaimo households.
- As Canada's national leader and local champion for mental health, the Canadian Mental Health Association facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness. They fulfill their mission by building capacity, influencing policy, providing services, and developing resources.
For information on provincial housing programs: www.bchousing.org
To learn more about programs and services offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association - Mid Island Branch, please visit: www.mid-island.cmha.bc.ca