CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. — The former Rose Bowl Restaurant is being converted into bridge housing for the community’s homeless. The province, through BC Housing, bought the restaurant at 1221 Cedar St. and plans to immediately create a space for 20 beds. “This project will provide people in our community with a safe place to sleep while we work with our partners to build the permanent homes they deserve,” said North Island MLA, Claire Trevena. “We know our community is safer and healthier when everyone has a place to call home, with supports and services to help them succeed, and we are working closely with the city to build new permanent supportive housing as fast as possible.”

The bridge housing will provide people with a bed, showers and meals, as well as many of the support services found in permanent supportive housing. Vancouver Island Mental Health Society will oversee day-to-day management of the facility. Society staff will be on site 24/7 and will provide guests with outreach services, as well as connection and referral to health services.

“On behalf of the entire community, council extends our appreciation for the quick action by the [rovince and minister of municipal affairs and housing to ensure temporary housing is available in a central location for people who need additional support, especially with the added complications brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Campbell River Mayor, Andy Adams. “Establishing bridge housing in this location, run by an organization with proven experience in our community, will support people who have limited or no alternatives for housing. This is also welcome as it bridges services until longer-term supportive housing is available, a much-needed form of housing in Campbell River.”

The project is expected to open next month and will be operational until a new permanent supportive housing project is in place. The province says that BC Housing “is working with the City of Campbell River to explore potential supportive housing locations and will provide more information to the public once a plan for permanent supportive housing has been developed.”

“We are pleased to partner with the Province and BC Housing to operate this bridge housing for the homeless in Campbell River,” said Taryn O’Flanagan, CEO, Vancouver Island Mental Health Society. “Having a place to stay is an important step in maintaining the well-being of vulnerable people in this community.”

Once the permanent supportive housing is built and residents leave the bridge housing, BC Housing will engage with the community about redeveloping the site at 1221 Cedar St. into an affordable housing project. Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quick Facts:

  • The B.C. government purchased the Rose Bowl Restaurant in Campbell River for $985,000 through the Supportive Housing Fund.
  • In addition to this project, the province is working in partnership to deliver close to 120 new affordable homes for people in Campbell River:
    • 41 homes at the recently purchased Heritage Inn for people who were displaced by the fire at the Pacific West complex.
    • 49 homes for women and children leaving violence.
    • 27 homes for people with low to moderate incomes, including those with brain injuries and their families (Linda’s Place).

Image: The former Rose Bowl Restaurant building on Cedar Street. (Troy Landreville, Vista Radio staff)
From an article published online at My Campbell River Now