New supportive housing opens in Kamloops - InfoNews

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New supportive housing opens in Kamloops

Spero House opened its doors to present the the new modular housing unit on Kamloops' North Shore on March 29, 2019.
March 29, 2019 - 3:22 PM

KAMLOOPS -  A new modular housing complex is opening on the North Shore in Kamloops. Spero House is a permanent home with around-the-clock staffing and supports for people experiencing homelessness. 

Richard St. Godard, who has been homeless for nearly 13 years, will be one of the first tenants to move into Spero House on Monday. He spoke with reporters at at a press conference at the Tranquille Road location today, March 29.

"Having an address really starts at home. You got a place to work from, to get your life back in order," St. Godard said. "It’s the acceptance that really makes a difference; because a lot of us we’re so undependable, but that’s just how it is. We all love, we all want to live."

Richard St. Godard is one of the residents of Spero House. He and the other residents are set to move in on Monday, April 1, 2019.
Richard St. Godard is one of the residents of Spero House. He and the other residents are set to move in on Monday, April 1, 2019.

ASK Wellness will operate the building and provide on-site staff for 24/7 support. Residents will have meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services, as well as opportunities for volunteer work.

Bob Hughes, the ASK Wellness and Spero House executive director, spoke about how impressed he was with how fast the building was put together, and gushed about how the collaboration between governments, businesses and community has helped the North Shore.

"The revitalization of this neighbourhood and business corridor has been by done by everyone who calls this home: the homeless and disenfranchised, the businessmen and our families," he says. "This building is about inclusion and hope and thus the name Spero House."

The word 'Spero' is latin for hope. The building at 317 Tranquille Road features 58 permanent studio homes each with a bathroom and a kitchenette. There are also four transitional suites for short-term stays. Eight of the units are designed for people with disabilities. On-site amenities include a shared dining room, a commercial kitchen, a harm-reduction space, laundry and storage.

The five-storey building is one of the only of its kind with an elevator, and everything from the laundry machines must be wheelchair-accessible. 

The monthly rental rate is $375, which is the social assistance shelter allowance provided by the province, a Ministry of Housing media release says. This also gets people in the habit of paying rent when they leave supportive housing.

The land for Spero House was provided by the City of Kamloops and is valued at $455,000. 

Residents like St. Godard will move into their new homes on Monday, April 1.

Bob Hughes, executive director of Spero House, stands in one of the 320-square-foot units.
Bob Hughes, executive director of Spero House, stands in one of the 320-square-foot units.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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