222 Corfield Street South

The Proposed Project

BC Housing will build a new apartment building that contains approximately 50 studio and one bedroom suites. Island Crisis Care Society will provide 24/7 staffing and maintenance of the building. Staff will provide support to residents as well as security and management. The three-storey building will suit the architectural style of the neighbourhood and each home will include a private bathroom and a kitchen. The type of housing is classified as long term supportive housing. Please download our FAQ document here and the City of Parksville’s background information document here. Information from BC Housing, including the information that was presented at the open house in March, is located on their website here.

Key Features of the Proposed Project

  • For people in the Oceanside area.
  • Priority given to people who have become homeless or are at risk of homelessness.
  • Additional space for cold weather shelter use, between November and March.
  • 24 hour staffing for security, safety, and support.

Important Links

222 Corfield South

WHY WAS THIS SITE CHOSEN?

222 Corfield South is located at the intersection with Jenson Avenue and is within walking distance of the SOS, library, grocery store, Salvation Army, Hirst House, and Forward House. Evidence suggests that people who move from homelessness to supportive housing do best if the housing is situated near these kinds of services. The type of land situated at this location also fits the requirements for modular construction and was vacant.

Vulnerable

HOW WILL RESIDENTS BE SELECTED?

Successful applicants will be adults (19 or older) who are “absolute homeless” or at risk of homelessness, with an income of less than the Housing Income Limits (HILs) for Parksville-Qualicum. The Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT) will be used to assess applicants’ needs. A collaborative community process will involve several community organizations to recommend individuals for residency, similar to the process used now in Parksville for allocating rent subsidies.

A Brighter Future

HOW LONG WILL PEOPLE BE ABLE TO STAY?

Residents will receive support to maintain their tenancy, including daily meal services for as long as they choose to live here, and as long as they comply with their program agreement. People wishing to move on to other types of housing will be supported to do so.

ICCS Chair Susanne Lee and Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness Co-chair Sharon Welch

BACKGROUND 2010 – 2018

In 2010 the City of Parksville formed the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness to examine and address homelessness and related issues. Made up of local and regional governments, service agencies, and concerned citizens the Task Force is supported by the region’s MLA and MP. It is co-chaired by the executive directors of the SOS, Forward House, and ICCS. Island Health provided start up funding.

EXTREME AND COLD WEATHER SHELTER

The Task Force coordinated extreme shelter services in Parksville and secured and supplemented government funding to operate the shelter. It was provided by the Salvation Army from 2011 to 2015 and ICCS from 2016 to 2017. In 2016/2017, 101 unique individuals accessed the shelter.

HOMELESS COUNT

The Task Force provided the resources for two point-in-time homeless counts; the first in 2011 and the second in 2013. From these counts, gaps in services and solutions were identified.

  • 66 homeless individuals
  • 66% were residents of Oceanside for 1 or more years
  • 40% were older than 45

SIMILAR PROJECT – Hearthstone Place in Abbotsford

CRIME DECREASED

Hearthstone Place in Abbotsford opened in 2017 and the community saw no measurable increase in crime in surrounding neighbourhoods. On the contrary, crime generally goes down in communities with such projects. Statistics from the Abbotsford Police show the neighbourhood surrounding the building saw only around a half dozen criminal complaints between May and October 2017. That figure is the fewest such complaints for that time period over the last five years.

SIMILAR PROJECT – Uplands Walk in Nanaimo

A PROVEN MODEL

Uplands Walk is a supportive housing complex in Nanaimo with 24/7 staffing. With 33 units, this complex houses men and women who were either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. When first announced the project received vocal opposition from local residents who claimed that crime would increase and housing values would drop. Crime did not increase and property values have increased. See the IMPACT ASSESSMENT for more details.

SIMILAR PROJECT – Boundary Crescent In Nanaimo

LOCATION MATTERS

The Vancouver Island Mental Health Society in partnership with Nanaimo Affordable Housing and Haven Society Operate Supportive Housing at 1597 Boundary Crescent in Nanaimo. VIMH provides staffed tenant support services for individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness in 41 furnished, self contained units. The success of this project is due in large part to being in walking distance of the hospital, grocery store, and health and community resources such as Family Life, and Brooks Landing walk in clinic.

HOUSE PRICES GO UP

Nearby housing developments such as Summerhill Place have seen a steady increase in house prices despite being within a few blocks of the development.

MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS FROM HOUSING FIRST

Boundary Crescent demonstrates that the philosophy of Housing First is effective. Housing First is an approach used by communities throughout North America in which people with mental health challenges and addictions are given housing first, before requiring sobriety or stability. Because being without a home is one of the biggest stressors on anyone, removing this need allows people to use their attention for other issues besides finding a place to sleep. Housing first is known to help reduce substance use. See VIMHS article for more information.

ICCS Staff and Volunteer

HOW MANY STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS WILL THERE BE AND WHAT WILL THEIR DUTIES BE?

Two or more employees will be on site at all times. The payroll will include 20 or more individuals. Volunteers will be involved after receiving specific training to work with Vulnerable adults. Support Workers will be responsible for maintaining security and safety within the building, and to maintain a good neighbour relationship with the surrounding neighbourhood. They will:

  • Monitor who comes in and out of the building and will initiate wellness plans with all residents.
  • Provide referrals to treatment, health services, and other community resources.
  • Provide case planning and resident needs assessments.
  • Assist with income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining ID, and establishing bank accounts.
  • Provide group support services for life skills, information, and recreation.

Recovery is a Process

WHY IS SUPPORT PROVIDED TO RESIDENTS?

There are a variety of supports that increase a tenant’s ability to maintain their apartment and move towards greater freedom and responsibility. These include individualized case plans to further develop life and social skills. Employment planning will be offered. Staff will offer assistance to manage the transition to independence and recovery. Programming space will be available for skills training including meal preparation and budgeting. Other services will include outreach workers, wellness checks, and support groups.

Staff will foster a culture of wellness

WILL RESIDENTS BE DRUG USERS? 

The housing is designed to provide low cost apartments to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Not all people who are homeless have substance use issues or addictions. Residents will make their own choices regarding lifestyle. Building staff will remind residents of appropriate and respectful behaviour as agreed to in their program agreement. Substance use and mental health challenges will be addressed through case plans and referrals to Island Health and related services. Staff will promote a recovery and wellness culture.

Samaritan House

Our Experience at Samaritan House

Samaritan House operates with a mixture of emergency shelter beds, supportive housing units, and rent subsidies. Samaritan House also offers 6 transition units that have a high barrier designation at a seperate location. The model was honed and tested during a two year pilot project in 2013 and 14. We demonstrated that adjusting the type of housing to a women’s needs greatly improved her long term stability. Sometimes more support is needed and sometimes more independence is beneficial. By quickly adjusting the level of support, measurable improvements in health and well being were observed.