Construction has finished on a 50-unit supportive housing development in Campbell River that will provide homes with 24/7 support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“This housing will make a significant difference for people in Campbell River who are experiencing homelessness by getting them a chance to stabilize their lives and come inside,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “Thanks to the leadership of communities like Campbell River, we can continue to address the need for supportive housing there and in communities throughout the province.”

“Along with filling an immediate, urgent need for the people who will live here, the opening of Q’waxsem Place helps ensure Campbell River has a range of housing options for people in our community. Building on affordable housing that provides safety, security and wraparound supports at Q’waxsem Place, we look forward to the continued partnership with the Province and BC Housing to facilitate additional housing for the most vulnerable.” — Andy Adams, mayor, City of Campbell River

Located at 580 Dogwood St., the building will be managed by Vancouver Island Mental Health Society. It will include on-site support services to residents, including access to life-skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental health resources, as well as addiction recovery services.

“As an organization, we have seen a significant need for long-term supportive housing in this community, and we feel fortunate that the Province and city have recognized and supported this project.” — Taryn O’Flanagan, executive director, Vancouver Island Mental Health Society

The Province provided approximately $10.4 million in construction and financing costs for the project through the Supportive Housing Fund and will provide approximately $962,000 in annual operating funding. The City of Campbell River provided the land on a long-term lease arrangement, as well as approximately $550,000 in equity contributions and waivers.

“These 50 new supportive homes will give people a much-needed safe and secure home, something that everyone deserves. I would like to thank the City of Campbell River and Vancouver Island Mental Health Society for supporting our community and working with the Province to develop solutions that support people in need.” — Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island

The name of the building is Q’waxsem Place. Q’waxsem means “treehouse” in the local Kwakwala language, reflecting the desire to create a communal and friendly atmosphere for residents.

“It was great to be part of this project, in naming and creating a home for residents that is culturally safe and designed with Indigenous voices in mind. We are proud to have been part of this collaboration.” — Nick Chowdhury, co-chair, Urban Indigenous Housing and Wellness Coalition

In addition to providing supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness in the community, Q’waxsem Place will house people from the 20-bed temporary bridge housing program at the former Rose Bowl Restaurant. Residents will start moving into the building in the next few weeks.

In addition to these 50 new supportive homes, the Province is working in partnership to deliver more than 80 new affordable rental homes for people in Campbell River. This includes 27 homes for people with low to moderate incomes (Linda’s Place) and 57 homes for women and children leaving violence.

BACKGROUNDER: Services, supports provided for supportive housing

All new supportive housing buildings in the province have around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical need of housing.

The Province of British Columbia is providing annual operating funding to help those with the highest housing needs to build new beginnings. Experienced staff provide support to tenants based on their assessed needs.

Services and supports provided to young people, seniors, people with disabilities and others who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, include:

  • both on-site supports and connection to additional specialized supports in their community;
  • supports that are tailored to the needs of the residents, including education and employment opportunities, and health and wellness services, including mental health and addiction treatment programs;
  • individual or group support services, such as life skills, community information and social and recreational programs;
  • meals;
  • case planning and needs assessment;
  • other supports designed to assist residents in meeting their personal and housing goals, including culturally specific programs;
  • help accessing income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a B.C. identification card or establishing a bank account;
  • support for residents to learn how to operate and maintain a home; and
  • no-cost laundry services, either on or off site.