Why Kamloops' supportive housing development ended up on Mission Flats Road | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Why Kamloops' supportive housing development ended up on Mission Flats Road

Residents will begin moving into the Osborne House on Mission Flats Road next week.
November 09, 2018 - 5:30 PM

KAMLOOPS -  In response to homelessness across the province, B.C. Housing has been working with municipalities to rapidly build supportive housing units for people experiencing homelessness.

In Kamloops, B.C. Housing recently invited media personnel for a tour of the Osborne House located at 805 Mission Flats Rd. yesterday, Nov. 8. The temporary housing development, which will be operated by ASK Wellness Society, was built from repurposed work camps to provide temporary supportive housing for people at risk of homelessness.

The two-storey housing development has 55 units that are expected to open the week of Tuesday, Nov. 12 but there's one problem. Mission Flats Road is a remote area with few other amenities — including transit. 

"There is no public transit, and it's a busy thoroughfare for industrial traffic," Bob Hughes, executive director for ASK Wellness Society, says.

But he explains that having supportive housing in an area that is more isolated could benefit residents at the supportive housing development.

"One of the reasons why we got interested in the project here, is that there may be tremendous benefit from being removed from the kind of chaos that many of the folks that we work with encounter on a daily basis," he says. "If we can get folks to come out here and get a place and get a sense of community, we are hoping that sets up enough of an environment where they feel safe enough to take time to look after themselves, create their own sense of community."

The housing development will also feature a shuttle service for residents that will take them to and from various sites twice a day, seven days a week. Hughes says Urban Systems has also donated high-visibility vests for people on a bike or walking to better protect themselves from traffic.

The province also plans to build two new supportive housing developments at 259 Victoria St. with up to 52 units and at 317 Tranquille Rd. with up to 62 units of supportive housing. These developments will be permanent, according to B.C. Housing.

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