Orca Place is a Supportive Housing program that will take place in a modular style apartment building built by BC Housing. The building will contain 52 studio and one bedroom suites, including 6 accessible units. Individuals who participate in the program will sign a program participant agreement and receive a personal plan of support.
Island Crisis Care Society will provide 24/7 staffing for the program and will maintain the building, beginning in late Spring, 2019. Staff will provide support to residents as well as security and management. The three-storey building has been designed to 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 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 2018, is located on their website here.
Security includes a personal room with a locking door, 24 hours staffing, and a variety of standard security measures such as well lit and fenced grounds, extensive camera monitoring, and a controlled entrance. All guests to the property are required to check in and out at the welcome centre and follow rules for conduct and safety.
Support is encouragement, care, and resources that allow people to gain or maintain health and well being. At Orca Place support is tied to individualized plans that outline each person’s unique needs, goals, and plans. Working from these personal plans program participants, staff, and health care professionals work together on strategies to overcome barriers and challenges. The Housing First model endorsed by the Canadian Government requires integrated support for success.
Stability is firstly about predictable, reliable shelter people can count on. Program participants will receive support to maintain their participation in the program, including daily meal services for as long as they choose to live here, and as long as they comply with their program agreement. People with a goal to move to housing will be supported to do so.
Two or more employees will be on site at all times. The payroll will include 20 or more individuals. Volunteers will also 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.
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.
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 2019. In 2016/2017, 101 unique individuals accessed the shelter.
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.
There are a variety of supports that increase a program participant’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.
The program is designed to provide individualized support to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Not all people who are homeless have substance use issues or addictions.
Program participants will make their own choices regarding lifestyle and ICCS staff will remind them 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. We know from experience that supportive housing helps those contemplating sobriety follow through on plans to find treatment and support for their recovery plans.
Orca Place was chosen by vote among the members of the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness.
For larger questions about ICCS administration, planning, and operations call our head office at: 778-441-4227 or e-mail email@example.com