**From the BC Government Website**
**Published March 12, 2021**
People experiencing homelessness are moving into safe and secure homes with wraparound supports as a new supportive housing project opens in the community.
Located at 749 School Rd., the three-storey building consists of 40 self-contained studio units, each with a kitchenette and washroom.
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Our government believes that partnerships such as these are integral in building capacity for communities to prevent and reduce homelessness. We are pleased that this former federal site in Gibsons can provide shelter and support for those who need it most.”
RainCity Housing and Support Society will operate the housing with supports. It will provide residents with on-site staff and support services 24-7, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services.
“These 40 new homes will make a major impact for people who are currently living in emergency shelters or outdoors in Gibsons,” said David Eby, B.C.’s Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “A safe and secure home is the first step to a life with dignity and opportunity. It’s an honour to work with our partners on this project to help vulnerable people on the Sunshine Coast rebuild their lives.”
The project is a partnership between the governments of Canada and British Columbia and the Town of Gibsons. The federal government transferred the land – a former RCMP site – to the Town of Gibsons, while the Province provided capital funding and is providing operating funding for the project.
Residents started moving in on Thursday, March 11, 2021.
Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast –
“Forty people experiencing homelessness will now have a place to call home, with wraparound supports to assist wherever needed. Thanks to all of our partners for helping to make this project a reality, so these individuals have a safe and secure place to live in this beautiful community.”
Bill Beamish, mayor, Town of Gibsons –
“Finding a permanent home for some of our most vulnerable residents has been the result of tremendous work by our federal, provincial and local housing partners that have worked tirelessly to make this opportunity a reality in Gibsons. We continue to be very thankful for the ongoing support our community has received and commit to continuing to work to improve housing for all in Gibsons.”
Catharine Hume, co-executive director, RainCity Housing and Support Society –
“As we continue our work in Gibsons, we are excited to be able to welcome 40 citizens into their new homes and are pleased to be a part of addressing homelessness in Gibsons through the provision of safe, supported and affordable housing. We look forward to building on existing relationships with many people we’ve gotten to know via the shelter. Since beginning our work in Gibsons and elsewhere on the Sunshine Coast, we have greatly appreciated the support from this community and look forward to continuing to work together with our partners, our neighbours and the Squamish and the shíshálh Nations.”
- The Government of Canada transferred the property through the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative, a funding stream of the existing Homelessness Partnering Strategy. The strategy makes surplus federal real estate properties available to community organizations for $1 to develop projects to house individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
- The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $14 million in capital funding from the Supportive Housing Fund for the building and is providing approximately $1 million in annual operating funding.
- To help more Canadians access affordable housing that meets their needs, the Government of Canada launched the National Housing Strategy – a 10-year, more than $55-billion program designed to build 125,000 new affordable housing units, repair 300,000 others and reduce chronic homelessness by 50%.
- The Government of British Columbia is making the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.’s history — more than $7 billion over 10 years.
- Provincial investments since 2017 are supporting the construction of 4,900 new supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness throughout B.C.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit: www.placetocallhome.ca
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/