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Supportive Housing in your Community

Supportive housing assists people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and creates successful tenancies and healthier communities.

What is supportive housing?

Supportive housing is for British Columbians experiencing or at risk of homelessness with varying health and personal challenges and needs. People experiencing homelessness are not a homogenous group, and have had different pathways into homelessness, that’s why supportive housing tailors its response to clients, to help them maintain their housing.

Non-profit housing operators provide a range of on-site, non-clinical supports, such as life-skills training, and connections to primary health care, mental health or substance use services.

How residents are selected

Residents are assessed through the Vulnerability Assessment Tool, which helps determine the support services they need to remain housed and live a more healthy, stable life, while also ensuring a healthy tenant mix within a building.

BC Housing, service providers, and housing operators work together to ensure the needs of a resident are well matched to the types of support services provided. This process reduces the number of times an individual applies for housing, or is assessed.

Some potential residents have complex health issues or other needs that require higher levels of support to maintain their housing. These issues can include medical problems, depression, criminal history or hoarding. However, the common thread with all residents in supportive housing is that they have made the choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

Building Knowledge: Community Acceptance Series

The Community Acceptance Series features five case studies of supportive housing sites that gained acceptance in their respective neighbourhoods.

  • Findings will provide direction for future supportive housing sites on how to address neighbourhood concerns during project planning and community engagement.
  • Through lessons learned, these case studies identify strategies for existing supportive housing sites to improve relationships with neighbours.

Community Acceptance Series Overview

This report summarizes the case studies in the Community Acceptance Series documenting the experiences of supportive housing sites that gained neighbourhood acceptance.

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5616 Fraser Street, Vancouver

5616 Fraser Street in Vancouver opened in 2007 and is operated by RainCity Housing and Supports Society. The building has 30 self-contained studio units providing transitional housing for those with concurrent mental health and substance use issues in addictions recovery.

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Camas Gardens, Victoria

Camas Gardens is located near downtown Victoria and operated by Pacifica Housing. The building has 44 self-contained bachelor and one-bedroom units for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, including people facing mental health or addiction issues, either active or in recovery.

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Cardington Apartments, Kelowna

Cardington Apartments in Kelowna opened in 2008 and is operated by the John Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan (JHSCSO). The building has 30 self-contained units providing supportive housing development for adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, managing mental health and addiction challenges.

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Christine Lamb Residence, Abbotsford

Christine Lamb Residence opened in 2012 in Abbotsford and is operated by SARA for Women. It provides transitional housing for women and children who are at risk of homelessness or fleeing violence.

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Timber Grove, Surrey

Timber Grove was developed through a partnership between the Province of B.C., the City of Surrey, Fraser Health and Coast Mental Health. It provides 52 affordable rental studio apartments for seniors and people with disabilities at-risk of homelessness.

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