A new supportive housing building is open in Kamloops, providing safe, warm homes with around-the-clock care and supports to help people experiencing homelessness in the community.
“Everyone deserves a good, safe place to call home,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re proud to be working with our partners to create homes like these that help people stabilize their lives and build a better future.”
Located at 259 Victoria St. West, Rosethorn House is a four-storey modular apartment building with 42 self-contained studio homes. Each of the units includes a private washroom and mini kitchen. The building also includes a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, storage and amenity space, and laundry and medical examination rooms.
“We’re happy to see Kamloops residents moving into housing stability at Rosethorn House,” said Ken Christian, mayor, City of Kamloops. “This development is a welcome addition to the housing continuum in Kamloops, as we continue to look for opportunities to address housing affordability and homelessness.”
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kamloops will operate the building and provide residents with support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness supports and opportunities for volunteer work. At least two staff members will be on-site 24/7.
“Everyone deserves a safe and secure place to call home,” said Jonny Morris, CEO, CMHA BC Division. “Rosethorn House provides a critical opportunity to increase housing capacity for vulnerable citizens in Kamloops who can benefit from housing and key programs, services and supports. Safe and secure housing is fundamental to mental health and well-being, helps build a sense of community, and provides a foundation to help people seek meaningful training and employment. CMHA is proud to be a partner with the Province on this initiative.”
Residents will begin moving in to the building on Jan. 29, 2020. All 36 residents from The Branch, Kamloops’ temporary bridge housing building for people experiencing homelessness, will move into Rosethorn House.
“Today is an exciting moment for Kamloops and a clear sign of the historical, unprecedented investment in affordable housing by our government,” said Katherine McParland, board member, BC Housing. “As a resident of Kamloops, I am excited to see first-hand the impact this government is having on responding to the urgent need of homelessness with tangible units of housing and the supports people need to thrive. This type of investment is how we will end homelessness in B.C."
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The Province provided $10.2 million to the project through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program and will provide an annual operating subsidy of $980,000.
- B.C.-based manufacturer Horizon North was selected by the Province to manufacture the homes in Kamloops, and several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and local economies.
- With the opening of this building, there are now 155 supportive homes in Kamloops, including Spero House (58 homes) and Mission Flats Manor (55 homes).
- In just over two years, government has built more than 2,100 supportive homes, with over 800 more underway and a goal of 4,700 over 10 years.
New reports show that supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness is substantially improving the quality of life for residents and reducing their use of emergency health services. The full reports and a summary of the results can be found here: https://www.bchousing.org/modular-supportive-housing-resident-outcomes-reports
Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/projects-partners/Building-BC/RRH-program
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 learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
To find out more about Canadian Mental Health Association Kamloops, visit: https://kamloops.cmha.bc.ca/
Two backgrounders follow.