Transition house for Aboriginal men opens in Vancouver

July 11th, 2011
VANCOUVER – The governments of Canada and British Columbia, along with community partners, gathered today to celebrate the official re-opening of the newly renovated and rejuvenated Circle of Eagles Lodge, a 17-bed, supportive transitional housing development in Vancouver.

“With this announcement today, our government is supporting Canadians with housing needs and helping those seeking to break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty,” said Ms. Wai Young, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “We are pleased to contribute to the Circle of Eagles Lodge Society and its efforts to help vulnerable individuals in our community.”

“With renovations complete, the Circle of Eagles Lodge will provide men in need with access to quality, supportive transitional housing,” said Kash Heed, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. “This revitalized building and the onsite support services are critical to helping these men rebuild their lives as they overcome their personal challenges.”

The Government of Canada, through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), provided a grant of $608,579 and a current annual operational funding of approximately $586,000 through Correctional Services Canada. The Province of British Columbia provided a grant of $1.5 million and the City of Vancouver provided contributions of approximately $160,000. The Lu’ma Native Housing Society (LNHS) will waive construction management fees and the Circle of Eagles Lodge Society (COELS) will finance over $1.4 million for this project.

“The newly renovated Circle of Eagles Lodge meets a critical need in the community by providing supportive housing for Aboriginal men in transition,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City of Vancouver is proud to be a key partner in the project, working in collaboration with other levels of government and Aboriginal community organizations to address homelessness.”

“For over 30 years, Lu’ma Native Housing Society has been providing affordable housing options for low to moderate income Aboriginal people,” said Claire Marshall, secretary of the board of Lu’ma Native Housing Society. “This partnership opportunity with the Circle of Eagles Lodge Society was a natural fit with our society’s mandate, and we are grateful for this opportunity that allows us to use our construction management expertise to help the society throughout the renovation process.”

Incorporated in 1980, Lu’ma Native Housing Society (LNHS) provides affordable housing to Aboriginal families and individuals with low to moderate income.

COELS will manage and operate the Circle of Eagles Lodge and will provide 24/7 onsite support services to tenants. Since 1970, the COELS has been providing incarcerated people of native ancestry, native people on parole or probation, or referrals from the courts with quality support services with the goal of successful re-entry into a community setting for their client group.

“The brothers that reside at the Circles of Eagles Lodge take much pride and personal ownership of their newly renovated home,” said Jerry Adams, executive director of the Circle of Eagles Lodge Society. “The onsite support services, which include home cooked meals, laundry, access to an off-site sweat lodge, pre-employment and life skills training means these men have the proper support as they re-establish themselves into the community.”

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy emphasizes longer-term supportive and transitional housing by focusing on a housing-first approach to help people make the transition out of the cycle of homelessness. The Government of Canada is investing over $1.9 billion over five years, until 2014, for housing and homelessness programs.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness

Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families in communities throughout B.C.

To learn more about provincial housing programs and services, visit: www.bchousing.org

  BACKGROUNDER

    Circle of Eagles Lodge

The newly renovated Circle of Eagles Lodge, located at 1470 E. Broadway in Vancouver, provides 17 beds for supportive transitional housing for aboriginal men coming out of correctional services.

The total capital cost of the renovations is approximately $4 million.
 

  • Service Canada provided a $608,579 grant through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy toward this project.
  • Correctional Services Canada currently provides approximately $586,000 in annual operational funding for this project.
  • The Province of British Columbia provided a $1.5 million grant funded under the Aboriginal Housing Initiative.
  • The City of Vancouver provided a $160,000 grant towards this project.
  • The Lu’ma Native Housing Society will waive construction management fees valued at approximately $280,000.
  • The Circle of Eagles Lodge Society will finance over $1.4 million, including approximately $700,000 in land equity.
Lu’ma Native Housing Society (LNHS)

LNHS has over 30 years experience in the provision of affordable housing for Aboriginal families and individuals in need. In addition to this commitment, the society also provides a wide range of services for Aboriginals, such as acting as the community entity for the BC region to distribute federal funding for Aboriginal homelessness projects; and own and operate other community social enterprises including First Funds Society, Lu’ma Native BCH Housing Society and Community Voice Mail.

Circle of Eagles Lodge Society (COELS)

For over 40 years, COELS has been providing incarcerated people of native ancestry, native people on parole or probation, or referrals from the courts with quality support services with the goal of facilitating a successful re-entry into the community for their clients..

Media contacts:

Vincent Chou
BC Housing
604 454-5444 

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada
819 994-5559