Smithers supportive housing for the homeless done in December

Tenants are expected to start moving in next January according to B.C. Housing.

Construction of the provincially funded supportive housing complex to address homeless in Smithers will be completed by December, according to B.C Housing.

B.C. housing public affairs officer Melanie Kilpatrick said the complex is expected to receive an occupancy permit in December and begin tenanting in January 2019.

Construction of the 24-unit modular housing building will cost $6.5 million, Kilpatrick said.

B.C. Housing is in the process of finalizing the operating budget, she added.

Smithers Community Services Association will in charge of the operations of the building.

The project is a part of B.C. Housing’s rapid response to homelessness initiative.

Smithers Community Services Association executive director Cathryn Olmstead said the organization will complete an application process potential tenants must fill out by the end of November.

The building will offer cold breakfasts and hot dinners every day to its tenants Olmstead said. Building staff will also help connect tenants with programs they may find useful such as job resources or mental health services.

Details regarding who’s eligible for tenancy and rent are being finalized Olmstead said.

“We know through research once we lessen some of those day-to-day stress then we see some differences in behaviour,” Olmstead said. “You might see less consumption of alcohol; you might see less visits to the emergency rooms; you might see people getting to a point where they’re ready to make some of the changes they want to make in their own lives.”

The three-storey building is at 3896 Railway Avenue.

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