Fifty-one new supportive housing units are opening in Kelowna next month to help people experiencing homelessness in the community.
“We’re working with our partners to provide these homes in Kelowna because when vulnerable people have housing and wraparound supports, it’s good for everyone in the community,” said Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This building will give people without homes the dignity of safe and secure housing, along with supports to help them move forward with their lives.”
Stephen Village is a four-storey modular apartment building with 51 self-contained units, each with a private washroom and mini kitchen. The building, located at 2025 Agassiz Road, will include shared amenities include a laundry room, commercial kitchen and a dining lounge. The building also has a medical room to provide on-site care for residents.
“These 51 new homes for people who have struggled to find stable housing will be life-changing for the residents selected to live here,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “The housing-first approach to end homelessness is part of the larger solution for social and economic needs in Kelowna and we look forward to other BC Housing developments in our community in the future.”
The John Howard Society of Okanagan and Kootenay (JHSOK) will manage the site providing residents with support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work. At least two staff members will be on-site at all times.
“Safe and secure homes like these provide a real opportunity for people to rebuild their lives. We look forward to being part of the community at 2025 Agassiz Rd.,” said Hailee Rogers, director, JHSOK Housing First division. “We’re committed to being a good neighbour and building safe communities both inside and outside of our homes.”
Residents will begin moving into the building on Aug. 17.
“I was working and successful in life, but once I was diagnosed with cancer my whole world turned upside down,” said one new Stephen Village resident. “I ended up on the streets living at a shelter. This is a great program to get people help and housed. I received help with my health care and housing when I needed it the most. John Howard has been there for me 100 per cent of the way. I feel fortunate to be here and the staff are wonderful.”
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