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The Best Place on Earth

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2009HSD0084-000764

December 15, 2009

Ministry of Housing and Social Development

 

 

$8.47-MILLION SHELTER AND HOUSING FOR HOMELESS IN DUNCAN

 

DUNCAN – Provincial and local partners gathered to celebrate the official opening of Warmland House, an $8.47-million development providing 15 emergency shelter beds and 24 transitional housing units for adults at risk of homelessness with mental health issues, announced Ron Cantelon, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum.

 

“By providing an emergency shelter and transitional housing under one roof, we are one step closer to breaking the cycle of homelessness in B.C,” said Cantelon. “The opening of Warmland House is particularly timely considering the cold temperatures we have been experiencing this winter.”

 

The Province provided the total capital cost of the development, including a $5.1-million grant through the Housing Trust Fund and mortgage financing of $3.4 million through the Provincial Homelessness Initiative (PHI), which integrates support services with housing to help people move beyond temporary shelter to more secure housing, greater self-reliance and appropriate employment.

 

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) is providing annual funding of $145,000 for transition support and staffing for the Living Room Program, which will provide a secure, home-like environment to adults and youth who are homeless, or who need temporary respite from the street, with onsite services.

 

“This project is about providing men and women who are at risk of homelessness with housing and support and services that will allow them to move forward to independent living,” said Howard Waldner, VIHA CEO. “We are pleased to provide funding so that residents can access support services at Warmland House.”

 

“Emergency shelter beds and transitional housing are fundamental in helping people move beyond homelessness towards building a healthier community,” said Mayor Phil Kent, City of Duncan. “I know that Warmland House will help many individuals in our community.”

 

“The Canadian Mental Health Association saw a need in this community and chose to address it by fostering partnerships that made it possible for this development to open today, ” added District of North Cowichan Mayor Tom Walker.

 

The development is managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) - Cowichan Valley Branch. The society will offer life skills training, food security, and assist residents to develop goals to help gain independent housing.

 

“Warmland House will assist those in our community who are at risk of homelessness and need a safe place to stay,” said Christina Martens, executive director of CMHA – Cowichan Valley Branch. “This development provides stable supports for people who want to make positive changes in their lives and encourages self-sufficiency and promotes safe, healthy communities.”

 

In 2009-10, the Province's budget for social housing is approximately $450 million, more than three times as much as in 2001.

 

‘Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness’ is a website providing a comprehensive and detailed look at provincial programs and services to address homelessness. Visit www.bchousing.org/breakingthecycle for more information.

 

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A backgrounder follows.

 

Contact:

 

Rhonda Nguyen

BC Housing

604 439-4740

604 374-8301

 

 

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.

 


 

BACKGROUNDER

 

December 15, 2009                                                    Ministry of Housing and Social Development

 

WARMLAND HOUSE

 

The Canadian Mental Health Association – Cowichan Valley Branch’s Warmland House, located at 2579 Lewis St. in Duncan, provides 15 emergency shelter beds and 24 transitional housing units for individuals at risk of homelessness with mental health issues.

 

The development is a three-storey, wood-frame building. The first floor consists of a commercial kitchen, bathrooms, a laundry facility, and counselling and administrative offices. The second floor includes four dormitories, three for men and one for women. The dormitories include 15 emergency shelter beds, plus washrooms and common lounges. There are also 24 self-contained bachelor apartments for transitional housing, two of which will be wheelchair accessible, on the second and third floors.

 

Warmland House is designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification standards.

 

Partners and Funding:

 

The capital cost of this development is $8,471,865.

 

 

Operational funding:

 

 

 

CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION – COWICHAN VALLEY BRANCH

 

CMHA - Cowichan Valley Branch is a voluntary organization whose goal is to educate people about mental health issues and change the way we view and treat mental illness in the Cowichan Valley.

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Contact:

 

Rhonda Nguyen

BC Housing

604 439-4740

604 374-8301

 

 

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.