People experiencing homelessness in Oceanside will soon have a roof over their head and a path to new opportunities.
Orca Place, a permanent supportive housing building operated by Island Crisis Care Society, opened yesterday in Parksville, with residents scheduled to move into their new homes in mid-August. The building features 52 studio and one-bedroom suites, around-the-clock staffing, and on-site supports.
“We’re proud to provide safe, supportive homes to Oceanside’s most vulnerable residents,” said Violet Hayes, executive director of Island Crisis Care Society. “The first step to wellness is having a safe place to call home. We believe that Orca Place will be transformative for those who live there and for all of Oceanside.”
Located at 222 Corfield St., Orca Place is a newly completed three-storey modular building. Each of the suites includes a private washroom and mini-kitchen, while the building includes communal space for counselling and community meetings, a multi-purpose room, commercial kitchen and dining room, and office space.
Orca Place will provide residents with meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services. Two or more staff members will be on-site 24/7.
“The supports offered through this new housing will help residents begin the journey to rebuild their lives,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, on behalf of Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We can help people move on from homelessness by bringing them indoors and offering them the supports they need. This approach gives people the opportunities they deserve and is good for the well-being of the community.”
The name Orca Place was chosen by the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness to represent community, a place where people can connect, live and grow together.
BC Housing invested $8.4 million in capital and construction costs and will provide an annual operating subsidy for the project.