Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

October 26, 2007 15:18 ET

$7M Supportive Housing Development Opens in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2007) - A new $7-million supportive housing apartment building officially opened in Vancouver today, providing help for people with mental health and addiction issues. The development is a partnership between all three levels of government, the local health authority and Triage Emergency Services & Care Society.

"The Government of Canada is delivering on its commitments to help those who are homeless and at risk of becoming homeless, including Canadians on our streets experiencing mental illness," said Mark Warawa, Member of Parliament for Langley, speaking on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. "Triage Emergency Services and Care Society will offer Vancouverites with mental illness access to the safe housing and support they need to improve their quality of life and fully participate in society."

5616 Fraser Street provides 30 units of supportive housing for adults with mental health issues who require support services and are engaged in active recovery from addictions. It will be operated by Triage Emergency Services & Care Society.

"5616 Fraser Street will make a real difference, both for the people who call it home and for the community, by providing stable housing and support to people battling addictions and mental illness," said Minister responsible for Housing Rich Coleman. "Supportive housing developments are an important part of breaking the cycle of homelessness."

The development was created through partnerships under the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the Provincial Homelessness Initiative housing program, which is part of the ongoing work of the Premier's Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions. The initiative integrates support services with housing to help people move beyond temporary shelter to more secure housing, greater self-reliance, and appropriate employment.

"This project demonstrates the benefit of governments working together to provide more stable housing options for our citizens in greatest need," said Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan. "As a member of the Premier's Task Force, I am encouraged that we are making progress to address the need for housing with supports here in Vancouver with the addition of 5616 Fraser Street."

"By combining housing with support services, we are demonstrating how various levels of government and the non-profit and private sectors can join together to build communities that are both safe and sustainable," said Ida Goodreau, president and chief executive officer of Vancouver Coastal Health. "This will help ensure residents can stabilize their lives and improve their health before they transition into a more permanent living situation."

"5616 Fraser Street is not simply a way to get people off the streets, but to provide a wide range of supports 24 hours a day that assist people in achieving stability and moving on with their lives," said Mark Smith, executive director of Triage Emergency Services & Care Society.

The Province has committed to creating more than 2,300 new housing units under the Provincial Homelessness Initiative. The Province's budget for shelters and affordable housing is $328 million - nearly triple what it was in 2001.

The Government of Canada, through its Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), is taking action to prevent and reduce homelessness in Greater Vancouver. This strategy is providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively. The HPS puts in place structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society.

BACKGROUNDER

5616 FRASER STREET

The development at 5616 Fraser Street in Vancouver provides 30 self-contained studio apartments of supportive housing.

The new housing creates safe, affordable homes where people with a mental illness who want to live without consuming alcohol or illegal drugs can achieve long term health and stability and grow towards their maximum potential. The building is alcohol and drug free and staffed 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The staff provide the tenants with a full range of support services, including support in achieving their treatment goals, life skills assistance, social and recreational opportunities and support in finding and maintaining employment. The 24-hour staff presence also ensures that the building remains a safe haven for the tenants.

A Community Advisory Committee has been established to liaise with surrounding residents and businesses. Vancouver City Council approved a Supportive Housing Strategy in June to provide the framework for developing supportive housing for people with mental illness and addictions throughout the city.

The three-storey concrete building opened to residents in August 2007.

Partners and Funding

Capital cost of this project is $7 million.

Partners and Funding:

- Human Resources and Social Development Canada, through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, provided an approximate $3,326,040 grant.

- The Province provided a one-time grant of $1.35 million.

- Vancouver Coastal Health provided a capital grant of $1.6 million.

- The City of Vancouver provided a grant of $575,000 and approximately $149,000 in municipal reductions of levies.

Triage Emergency Services & Care Society

For more than 20 years, Triage has endeavoured to provide a continuum of housing and support opportunities for people with mental health, substance use and other challenges. Their vision is 'A home for every person.'

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province's news feeds using RSS, visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca.

Contact Information

  • BC Housing
    Renee Schisler
    604-439-4757
    604-375-1235
    or
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations
    819-994-5559
    or
    Vancouver Coastal Health
    Viviana Zanocco
    Senior Media Relations Officer
    604-708-5282
    or
    Triage Emergency Services & Care
    Mark Smith
    Executive Director
    604-215-3040
    604-805-2763