'It's a big step up': 42-unit supportive housing facility opens to help Kamloops homeless
Support staff can provide tenants with meals, wellness support and skills training
Daniel Hall says he plans to be the first one in the building when a new housing facility opens in Kamloops, B.C. Wednesday morning.
Hall, who previously had no place to call his own, now has a unit in Rosethorn House, a $10.2 million provincially-funded supportive housing project for adults in the community who are experiencing homelessness.
Located at at 259 Victoria Street West, the building will have 42 self-contained studio homes, and be operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association Kamloops (CMHA Kamloops). The association will provide residents with around-the-clock support services that include meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness supports and opportunities for volunteer work.
"We get our own personal units and it's a big step up," said Hall excitedly. "Nine a.m., I'm the first one in the building."
Hall's last home was at The Branch, Kamloops' temporary bridge housing building for homeless members of the community, where he lived for 14 months. All 36 residents from The Branch are being relocated to Rosethorn House.
Alfred Achoba, operations leader for CMHA Kamloops, said the remaining six units are all wheelchair accessible and a team made up of local support agencies will meet to determine who will occupy those.
"[Rosethorn] is suited to meet any types of needs," said Achoba. "People can be fairly independent and still try here, or they can need a little bit more support and that's what the tenant support staff are here for and that's what CMHA is here for."
With the opening of this building, the province says there are now 155 supportive homes in Kamloops.
"This development is a welcome addition to the housing continuum in Kamloops, as we continue to look for opportunities to address housing affordability and homelessness,' said Mayor Ken Christian in a statement.
The most recent statistics on the number of homeless people in Kamloops on the city's website are from March 2018. There were 201 homeless individuals counted in a 24-hour period at that time.
With files from Courtney Dickson, Daybreak Kamloops