People in Powell River with complex mental-health and substance-use challenges who are at risk of experiencing homelessness will soon benefit from 20 new complex-care housing spaces.
Through Budget 2022, government is investing $164 million over three years to support as many as 500 vulnerable people. Since launching the initiative in January, the Province has announced 253 complex-care spaces in communities throughout B.C.
“Complex-care housing is a groundbreaking approach for people with overlapping mental-health and substance-use challenges, and traumatic and acquired brain injury," said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “These new complex-care housing spaces in Powell River will provide supports for people right in their homes to help break the cycle of homelessness and foster stability. Four transitional spaces will also be created that people can access during periods of acute need.”
The complex-care housing spaces in Powell River will be located in one or more central sites and will be delivered in partnership with the Tla’amin Nation, Lift Community Services and Vancouver Coastal Health. In addition to the new complex-care housing spaces, Powell River will also get four stabilization or respite spaces that will offer enhanced, short-term supports to people in the community, including from the Tla’amin Nation. These sites will be ready in late 2022.
“Mental-health and substance-use issues are challenges that affect us all, directly and indirectly,” said Marlane Christensen, health director, Tla’amin Nation. “Providing stability and complex-care housing services to those most in need serves the individual, their family and the entire community. We need to walk this road together.”
The spaces will offer a variety of supports, depending on individual need, for example:
- medication-assisted treatment;
- overdose-prevention services;
- psychiatry services;
- primary-care services;
- family and peer supports;
- skills training and counselling;
- cooking and meal support; and
- for Indigenous residents, ceremonial supports and connection to Elders.
“Today, our provincial and community partners make good on commitments to provide more support, resources and hope to our most vulnerable community members,” said Stuart Clark, executive director, Lift Community Services. “This partnership is another example of our community coming together to address the needs of its citizens, and the government of B.C. continuing to listen and respond to the needs of communities. We are honoured to be a partner on this project, and we are excited to get to work.”
Vancouver Coastal Health is working with the Tla’amin Nation, Lift Community Services, and the City of Powell River to identify locations for the 20 complex-care housing spaces.
Miranda Compton, executive director for substance use and priority populations, Vancouver Coastal Health –
“We’re pleased to be working with our community partners to provide this innovative model of care for those with complex mental-health and substance-use challenges. Complex-care housing offers high levels of health and social supports that will strengthen the care we provide to our clients. This initiative is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with our First Nation partners and to work together to provide enhanced, holistic support for community members.”
Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast –
“In the past, those who experienced complex mental-health and substance-use challenges were neglected and left behind. Our government is changing that with complex-care housing. These new complex-care spaces will serve the most vulnerable members of our community and will provide those with complex mental-health and substance-use challenges the services and supports they need.”
Dave Formosa, mayor, Powell River –
"On behalf of city council and our residents, I want to sincerely thank the Government of B.C. for providing the funding to establish complex-care services in our community. This next level of care will enhance supports for people struggling with mental-health and substance-use issues. The City looks forward to working with these partners to make this new service a reality."
To learn more about complex-care housing, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2032MMHA0005-000083
To learn about A Pathway to Hope, government’s vision for mental-health and addictions care, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021MMHA0049-001787
To learn more about Budget 2022 investments that address homelessness, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022AG0012-000369