KAMLOOPS - People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Kamloops will now have greater access to emergency shelter and housing with support services following today's official opening of Emerald Centre.
Located at 271 W Victoria St., Emerald Centre will provide 35 beds of round-the-clock emergency shelter with support services, along with 11 transitional housing apartments, for men and women at risk of homelessness or fleeing violence. The former hotel was purchased by the B.C. government and transferred to CMHA-Kamloops to be renovated in order to provide a new beginning for those in need.
The newly renovated Emerald Centre consolidates two former emergency shelters, Emerald House and Kamloops Christian Hostel, to provide shelter program services at one site, enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery to people.
The B.C. government provided $2.7 million in long-term financing for the purchase and renovation of the building, and will provide annual operational funding of approximately $1.5 million. CMHA-Kamloops provided $200,000 in equity toward this project and will manage and operate Emerald Centre.
Dr. Terry Lake, Minister of Environment and MLA for Kamloops- North Thompson - "We have invested in a range of outreach and supportive housing programs to support our community's homeless and those at risk of homelessness in Kamloops. The Emerald Centre is the culmination of the efforts of both us and our partners to address a community need and give those who are homeless an opportunity to start a new life. We welcome the positive impact this development will have for those who walk through its doors."
Kevin Krueger, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson - "Emergency shelters are an important first step to help those who are homeless. Shelters act as a gateway - providing a safe place to stay and access to supports that can help people stabilize and reconnect with the community. Emerald Centre will provide safety, security and support to those in greatest need and I want to thank CMHA-Kamloops for their dedication and continued work in our community."
Mayor Peter Milobar, City of Kamloops - "Emerald Centre is a welcome resource in our efforts to help break the cycle of homelessness in Kamloops. This shelter and supportive housing will make a real difference for people who are seeking to improve their lives."
Doug Sage, executive director, CMHA-Kamloops - "CMHA-Kamloops, along with a number of key partners such as ASK Wellness, James Weldon Consulting and TRUE Construction, have worked tirelessly with support from BC Housing to see this shelter and transition housing come to fruition. We are excited by the chance to provide a safe, secure environment to help the people who come here to set new goals and work toward realizing a brighter future."
- Over the last decade, the government of B.C. has invested more than $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 97,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
- In total, there are over 1,800 units of social and supportive housing in Kamloops.
- With the opening of Emerald Centre, Kamloops now has 11 developments currently providing close to 400 units for people at risk of homelessness, including:
- Henry Leland House, 28 units operated by ASK Wellness.
- Georgian Court, 48 units run by The John Howard Society of the Thompson Region.
- Acadia Building, 24 units operated by Interior Community Services.
- Since 1982, CMHA-Kamloops has been dedicated to raising awareness and promoting the mental health of all people within the communities they serve. CMHA-Kamloops previously operated Emerald House, a shelter for women fleeing violence, which will now be incorporated into Emerald Centre.
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, visit: http://www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/PHI
To learn more about CMHA-Kamloops, please visit: http://www.kamloops.cmha.bc.ca
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