People experiencing homelessness now have a roof over their heads and a path to new opportunities as a new permanent modular housing project creates 52 homes in Parksville, with around-the-clock staffing and supports on-site.
“The supports offered through this new housing will help residents begin the journey to rebuild their lives,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, on behalf of Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We can help people move on from homelessness by bringing them indoors and offering them the supports they need. This approach gives people the opportunities they deserve and is good for the well-being of the community.”
Located at 222 Corfield St., Orca Place is a newly completed three-storey modular building featuring 52 studio and one-bedroom units. Each of the units includes a private washroom and mini-kitchen. The building also includes communal space for counselling and community meetings, a multi-purpose room, commercial kitchen and dining room, and office space.
Island Crisis Care Society will operate the building and provide residents with meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services. Two or more staff members will be on-site 24/7.
“We’re proud to provide safe, supportive homes to Oceanside’s most vulnerable residents,” said Violet Hayes, executive director, Island Crisis Care Society. “The first step to wellness is having a safe place to call home. We believe that Orca Place will be transformative for those who live there and for all of Oceanside.”
The name Orca Place was chosen by the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness to represent community, a place where people can connect, live and grow together.
B.C.-based manufacturer Muchalat Group of Companies was selected to manufacture the modular units for Orca Place and several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and local economies.
This project brings the number of completed supportive homes built throughout the province to more than 1,800.
Residents will start moving into their new homes in mid-August.
- The Province invested $8.4 million in capital and construction costs and will provide an annual operating subsidy for the project.
- The land for the supportive housing project was provided by the City of Parksville.
- The construction of supportive homes is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs throughout the province, which includes 1,400 direct jobs and another 650 jobs in supplier industries.
Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/rapid-response-homelessness
For a map of the modular projects, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/homes-for-BC
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
To find out more about Island Crisis Care Society, visit: www.islandcrisiscaresociety.ca
Two backgrounders follow.