Tenant of new supportive housing in Kamloops excited to help others | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Tenant of new supportive housing in Kamloops excited to help others

Rob Sedore will be one of the first tenants moving into the new supportive housing units opening next Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2018. The modular housing units are located on Mission Flats Road.
November 08, 2018 - 5:01 PM

KAMLOOPS - For 20 years, Rob Sedore has struggled with drug addiction.

It stemmed from a rocky childhood due to a physically abusive father. He was put into a group home at the age of 12, but the hardships didn’t stop there.

“My father didn’t treat me like I was his child, and that made my life tough,” he says. “I rebelled hard and that’s why I started doing drugs.”

Now as an adult — and proudly sober — he wants to help other people experiencing homelessness and struggling with addiction.

Sedore has experienced homelessness off and on for nearly two decades on the streets of Kamloops. He wants to be that person other people can ask for help and build a sense of hope for those experiencing homelessness.

One way he plans to do that is by moving into the new temporary supportive housing units at The Osborne House on Mission Flats Road, which is scheduled to open on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

The Osborne House in Kamloops will be operated by ASK Wellness Society.
The Osborne House in Kamloops will be operated by ASK Wellness Society.

“I’m here to make a difference,” Sedore says. “I’ve gone through a lot in my time… this is going to be a good home for me until we figure out where I’m going (next).”

There will be 55 temporary homes in the two-storey supportive housing development. Each unit comes with a bed, bathroom, TV and a lock for each door. Residents will share common areas like the laundry room and dining area.

There will be 24-hour, seven days a week support staff, and there will be a chef on site providing residents with three meals a day.

“The one thing that’s unique about this (supportive housing location) is that we are providing three meals a day,” ASK Wellness Society executive director Bob Hughes says. “Housing is one thing but food is healthcare.”

The housing will be managed by ASK Wellness Society.

“Everybody in here pays the shelter rate, so the province identifies the shelter cost for a single male or female at $375 a month,” Hughes says. “It’s almost impossible to find anything for $375 a month.”

The Osbourne House was named after a Donnie Osborne, a Kamloops man that spent many years homeless.

"Donnie was a complex guy no question about it, he had a few brushes with the law," Hughes says. "He was a homeless guy who was outside for 10 to15 years and we had to convince him to come inside, but when he did come inside he would make meals at the Henry Leland House... he was a very caring and emotional man in many ways."

Hughes says in his time of knowing Osborne, he did more good than harm. He passed away a year ago.

"He was a guy who's body had failed on him, he messed around with drugs, I think it was just he ran out of steam," Hughes says. "He had done a share of bad things to his body, and it took the man down."

Hughes says the supportive housing units will be a great way for transitioning from homelessness into more secure housing.

The units are located at 805 Mission Flats Rd. and are not accessible by transit. A shuttle bus will make daily trips to transport residents to and from amenities, Hughes says.

"We have a 22-passenger shuttle bus so we will be doing two runs a day, seven days a week," he says. 

B.C. Housing is also planning to open two other housing projects in 2019 at 259 Victoria St. and 317 Tranquille Rd.

This article was updated at 12:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 to correct the spelling of Osborne House.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 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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