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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2024HOUS0079-000742
May 14, 2024
Ministry of Housing
Sixty temporary homes open in Kelowna for people experiencing homelessness

KELOWNA – People in Kelowna who are experiencing homelessness now have access to 60 new temporary homes with the opening of Trailside Transitional Housing.

“These modular homes will bring people indoors to a safe place, where they’ll receive meals, life-skills training, care plans and other services that will help prepare them for more permanent housing,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Through our Belonging in BC program, we’re providing people with the support and stability they need to transition out of homelessness and improve the overall health and well-being of their communities.”

Trailside Transitional Housing at 2740 Highway 97 North prioritizes seniors and people living with disabilities, who are mainly living in shelters and ready to move into more independent housing with embedded supports. Fourteen of the 60 modular homes are wheelchair accessible. Each home contains a bed, mini fridge, storage shelving and baseboard heating to supplement a centrally controlled heating and cooling system.

The development also includes washrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a common dining area, recreation space and bike storage, as well as a charging station for electric mobility scooters.

“Trailside fills an important gap in local transitional housing options for seniors and people living with disabilities,” said Tom Dyas, mayor of Kelowna. “Council’s goal is to free up space in shelters with the intention of decreasing the outdoor sheltering area along the Rail Trail and other parts of the city.”

The new homes are operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society with staff on site 24/7. Residents will receive meals, life-skills training and other supports, including individualized care plans and connections to community services. They will also have access to services from Interior Health’s new Integrated Health Outreach Team, such as episodic primary care, wound care, medication support, clinical referrals, and connections to substance-use and mental-health treatment.

People will begin moving into Trailside Transitional Housing in mid-May 2024, freeing up shelter spaces for people living in encampments and others experiencing homelessness in Kelowna.

This is the second 60-unit project in Kelowna created through the Homeless Encampment Action Response Team (HEART) and Homeless Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing (HEARTH) programs. It follows the opening of STEP Place at 759 Crowley Ave. in February 2024.

Both projects are temporary housing solutions and will be in place for a minimum of three years. The Province, through BC Housing, continues to work with the City of Kelowna to identify and build new permanent supportive housing to replace these two projects.

The HEART and HEARTH programs are part of Belonging in BC, the Province’s plan to prevent and reduce homelessness. The plan will also add nearly 4,000 new supportive-housing units and 240 complex-care spaces provincewide.

Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 8,800 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness and more than 1,700 homes in Kelowna.

Quotes:

Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health –

“Through this initiative, we're not just providing medical care, we are creating a path to stability for those in need. This collaboration reflects a dedication to building healthier and more inclusive communities, while cultivating resilience, renewing hope and fostering a sense of belonging across central Okanagan.”

Tara Tschritter, southern Interior regional director, Turning Points Collaborative Society –

“Clients at Trailside can expect an increase in positive health outcomes and reduced dependency on programs and systems. This is a proven model developed through our West Kelowna Rapid Re-Housing program, where we saw 60-plus people a year move into long-term housing.”

Learn More:

To read the MOU between the Province and City of Kelowna, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BC-MOU_Kelowna_HEART-HEARTH.pdf

For more information about the HEART and HEARTH programs, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/homelessness-services/HEART-HEARTH

To read the Belonging in BC plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BelongingStrategy.pdf

A backgrounder follows.

 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Housing
Media Relations
236 478-0251
 
BC Housing
Media Relations
media@bchousing.org
 
City of Kelowna
Communications
250 469-8663
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER
For Immediate Release
2024HOUS0079-000742
May 14, 2024
Ministry of Housing
What to know about the project
  • The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $3.9 million for the project from the HEARTH program and will provide $2.7 million in annual operating funding.
  • The City of Kelowna owns the land and is leasing it to the Province for a nominal fee.
  • The Province and City of Kelowna signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in August 2023 that formalized their commitment to work together to better support people who are unhoused or sheltering in encampments through the HEART and HEARTH programs.
  • The HEART program brings together provincial and local governments, Indigenous partners, health-care agencies and non-profit organizations to quickly assess the needs of people sheltering in encampments and provide rapid access to the supports and services they need to find a home.
  • The HEARTH program enables the rapid development of new shelter and housing options to bring people indoors.
  • Belonging in BC is delivered through initiatives across government and supported by investments of nearly $1.2 billion in Budget 2023 and $633 million in Budget 2022.
 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Housing
Media Relations
236 478-0251
 
BC Housing
Media Relations
media@bchousing.org
 
City of Kelowna
Communications
250 469-8663
 

 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect