ICCS established the original Samaritan House more than 30 years ago, providing a safe, warm, tolerant shelter environment for women in crisis. Built on principles of care before judgement, Samarian House provided a much-needed haven of stability for women entering its doors and changed many lives in the process.
After a call to expand Samaritan House starting in 2017, the “More Room for Hope” campaign began to raise support and action for a bigger, better space for more women and men in crisis. In 2020, this effort took a grand leap ahead with a commitment from BC Housing and support from the City of Nanaimo and partners, to create a new program.
Opened in March 2022, the four-story building features 51 studio suites for people experiencing homelessness in the community. In addition, one floor features seven units with two beds each that will be available exclusively to vulnerable women. In an innovative collaboration with Island Health, another floor offers professional homecare support for people who have compromised health, and who without this care would have nowhere to go.
Residents will have 24/7 wraparound support services including meals, laundry services and access to mental health and wellness. A large kitchen, dining room, and a separate community space are all part of the new building.
Christened “Samaritan Place” to honour the legacy of the original Samaritan House, this new program offers even more people “room for hope”.