People experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Kamloops now have access to additional housing and supports, with the opening of 28 new supportive homes at the former Fortune Motel.
“Converting this building to supportive housing will help ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to safe and secure housing,” said Murray Rankin, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “We are grateful to be working with partners like the Canadian Mental Health Association to deliver homes for people in need in Kamloops and throughout the province.”
The Province, through BC Housing, bought the Fortune Motel in June 2021. Located at 654 Fortune Dr., the property consists of a smaller building and a larger building with 28 studio units. After renovations and repurposing the space to create an amenity and programming area, the larger of the two buildings is open to residents.
The Kamloops branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) will operate the building, named Genesis Place.
“Our renewed mandate and commitment promote natural and culturally holistic wellness-focused services that encourage social and emotional growth,” said Alfred Achoba, executive director, CMHA. “Genesis Place facilitates connections including fostering reunion between family members, as well as preventing the development of new mental-health challenges. We remain committed in using evidence-based strategies in our services and incorporating psychosocial rehabilitation programs.”
Residents will have access to around-the-clock support services, including daily meals and life-skills training. CMHA will connect residents to Interior Health for any related services they may require.
“Genesis Place means 28 more people in our community will have a safe and secure place to call home and access to supports to help them succeed in maintaining this housing,” said Ken Christian, mayor, City of Kamloops. “This is one step closer to reducing homelessness in our community.”
Over the long term, BC Housing will redevelop the smaller building by working closely with the city through its permitting process. A long-term use for the building has not yet been determined.
This project is part of B.C.’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 35,000 new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including more than 1,300 homes in Kamloops.
- The Province, through BC Housing, provided $3.6 million for the purchase of the property through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund and will provide annual operating funding of approximately $1 million.
- In April 2022, the Province, through BC Housing, and the City of Kamloops signed a memorandum of understanding that formalizes their commitment to work together to address housing affordability, including on finding future locations for affordable rental housing, supportive housing and shelters, and on-site and building design.
To find out more about this project, ask questions and provide input, community members can connect with BC Housing online: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/kamloops-654-Fortune
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/