BC Housing is holding a virtual forum for a proposed homeless shelter at 209 16th Avenue North on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m.
The proposal of a 40-bed temporary shelter has come before city council in the form of a property zoning amendment, however, council recently voted for a delay in the process until BC Housing could provide more information in a public forum.
The proposed temporary shelter, a partnership between BC Housing and Community Connections Society of BC, would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide housing for anyone over the age of 19, according to a BC Housing fact sheet.
As a temporary shelter, the proposed site will operate 24/7 for the term of the property’s lease, according to BC Housing, however, it is meant as an interim housing solution and will not operate in that location permanently.
BC Housing will fund the property lease, any renovations needed to the building and the operating budget for housing, while Community Connections Society of Southeast BC will operate the shelter and provide support services.
The proposed site must be rezoned by municipal government in order to permit the property to be used for a homeless shelter, however, the province is responsible for funding social housing programs and projects and partnering with local governments, non-profits and housing stakeholders through BC Housing.
The proposed site replaces a 12-hour-per-day temporary winter shelter operated by the Salvation Army that could not open this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A 2020 point in time homeless count found that 63 people in the city are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
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