The Province is partnering with the Salvation Army on a proposal to build 42 new supportive homes that would be available to people in the community who do not have a place to live.
“When people have a safe and secure home, they can access things like health care and skills training to help them make a fresh start,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “Thank you to the Salvation Army for working with us to make sure more vulnerable people in Fort St. John have a place to call home.”
Located on BC Housing-owned property at 9916 99th Ave., the project would include a four-storey building with 42 homes, office space, laundry facilities, a dining area and a commercial kitchen. Each unit would include a private bathroom, kitchenette and storage for residents.
The Salvation Army, a non-profit organization with significant experience, would operate the building 24/7 and provide support services for each resident. A minimum of two staff would be on site at all times to provide daily meals, mentorship and skills building, and provide a connection to volunteer or employment opportunities. There is also a space in the building for residents to meet with social workers, address private health issues and hygiene care.
“As a community-minded organization with a strong history in Fort St. John, we look forward to building on our experience,“ said Jared Braun, executive director, Salvation Army. “Because of the expertise of our staff, the collaboration with our partners and the support of the community, we know this new project will give hope and security to those who need it most.”
The new homes would be constructed beside the Northern Centre of Hope building located on the same site. The Northern Centre of Hope is also funded by the Province and is managed by the Salvation Army to provide shelter, and transitional and recovery housing for people experiencing homelessness. A covered walkway would connect the two buildings.
The project does not require rezoning as the site is already zoned appropriately. However, BC Housing has submitted an application to the City of Fort St. John for a development variance permit. If the variance is approved, construction is anticipated to begin in August 2021 and residents will be able to move in by early 2022.
BC Housing and the Salvation Army will be hosting a virtual online community information session where the public can learn more about the project. People can also view project plans and submit their questions and comments online: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/fort-st-john-99-avenue
The Province is providing a $15-million grant for the project through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund and will provide annual operating funding.
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/