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More shelter spaces coming for people experiencing homelessness in Castlegar

June 14, 2024 at 8:08 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

People experiencing homelessness in Castlegar will soon have access to up to 20 new shelter spaces with the purchase of a building in Castlegar.

“This new shelter will provide a safe space for people experiencing homelessness in Castlegar, where they will be able to access beds, meals, and the basic supports they need, when and where they need them,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Bringing people indoors and providing them with supports is crucial as we continue to work across government to address the root causes of homelessness.”

The Province, through BC Housing, bought the property at 2245 6th Ave. to provide much-needed year-round shelter spaces, with the City of Castlegar’s support. The new permanent shelter will replace the community’s temporary 10-bed winter shelter, which was open from November until April.  

“This purchase ensures vulnerable members of the Castlegar community will have access to safe, secure shelter with supports year round,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “This is a great step forward and a welcome addition to the community, while the Province continues our ongoing work with the City of Castlegar to provide other types of housing.”

The one-storey building requires renovations prior to occupancy, including upgrades to the ventilation and fire safety systems, adding heating and cooling systems, and additional interior and exterior work.

“On behalf of city council, I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Province of B.C. for recognizing the need for a permanent, year-round shelter in our community and making this investment in Castlegar,” said Maria McFaddin, mayor of Castlegar. “The city has been working with BC Housing to identify a location for a permanent shelter and outreach services so there is a safe place for individuals experiencing homelessness in Castlegar.”

Once the scope of renovations is finalized, BC Housing will work with the city to secure the necessary approvals to allow for the site’s use as a year-round shelter. Construction work is expected to begin in summer 2024 with occupancy anticipated by early 2025. An experienced non-profit operator will be selected to manage the building through a request for proposals process.

The Province, through BC Housing, provided $740,000 to purchase 2245 6th Ave., through the Permanent Housing Plan, as well as $1.6 million to renovate the building.

While shelters provide immediate relief to people experiencing homelessness, they are not a long-term solution to the homelessness crisis. Through the Belonging in BC homelessness plan, it is government’s goal to move people into permanent, stable housing. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 400 homes in the Central Kootenay regional district.

Learn More:

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

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