New homes with wraparound services are now open in Maple Ridge, providing an opportunity for stable housing for people who have lived at the Anita Place encampment and others experiencing homelessness in the area.
“The opening of this supportive housing provides a real solution to a situation that went on for too long in this community,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Housing with wraparound support services included is already helping people from homeless camps in Surrey, Chilliwack, Vancouver and right across B.C., and I know it will contribute to a strong, connected community here in Maple Ridge.”
New research released from housing operators of the first seven modular supportive housing buildings in Vancouver and Surrey provides evidence of the value of these buildings. The research found that the housing-first model employed by BC Housing is substantially improving the quality of life of residents, as people experiencing homelessness are provided with a stable place to live and the wraparound services they need. The reports summarize data collected six months after the buildings opened.
“These results show that our approach is working,” Robinson said. “When people have a place to call home, surrounded by the care and supports they need, they feel the dignity, confidence and hope needed to be able to make positive change in their lives.”
Coast Mental Health will operate the building, named Garibaldi Ridge, and provide 24/7 on-site support to the residents.
The three-storey wood-frame building has indoor amenity space, a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge area, laundry, clinical space and storage areas. Supports for residents include outreach workers, wellness checks, life-skills training, employment programs and referrals to community services and support groups. Residents will be connected to primary health care as well as mental health and addiction recovery services. Coast Mental Health will employ 16 full-time support workers, including an on-site program manager and mental health workers, who will assess residents and provide referrals to Fraser Health Authority and other clinical programming. At least two staff members will be on-site at all times.
“Coast Mental Health continues to grow because of our specialized expertise and community-based support services in mental health,” said Darrell Burnham, CEO, Coast Mental Health. “We take a holistic approach to caring for our clients that includes housing, support services and when our clients are ready, life skills, training and employment. With our community partners, we have made significant strides in reducing homelessness in Maple Ridge, with a total of 150 homes that include on-site 24/7 support services for vulnerable people who proudly call Maple Ridge home.”
On-site nursing staff, working closely with Fraser Health Authority, will help residents living with addictions, mental health and physical issues. The nursing staff will split their time between Garibaldi Ridge and three other housing facilities (Royal Crescent Modular, Alouette Heights and Timber Grove Apartments) operated by Coast Mental Health in the Fraser Valley region.
“Living at Maple Ridge Modular, I have no stress, no depression, I’m working and I’m happier and healthier,” said AJ, a resident at Maple Ridge Modular on Royal Crescent. “My life is just happier today because I have a safe place to sleep. I also appreciate having a regular meal. These are basic needs that provide stability in my life so I can move forward.”
The housing was manufactured by Horizon North. The modular design allows it to be installed at the Burnett site temporarily and then moved to a different location. The Province is working with the City of Maple Ridge on securing a permanent location for the housing. Once a site is found, the housing will be moved and work will begin on new affordable seniors’ housing at the Burnett site.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- Currently located at 11749 Burnett St., Garibaldi Ridge will provide 51 units of temporary modular supportive housing for all the remaining campers at the Anita Place camp in Maple Ridge and others who have been staying at the community’s emergency homeless shelter since the city cleared people from the camp earlier this year.
- The Province provided $10.2 million in funding from the Supportive Housing Fund for the project and will provide annual operational funding.
- Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 21,000 new homes are completed, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people struggling to find a place to live — from people experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals.
The full reports and a summary of the results from the first seven supportive housing projects can be found here: https://www.bchousing.org/modular-supportive-housing-resident-outcomes-reports
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/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
Two backgrounders follow.