New transitional housing, integrated health care supports coming to Sea to Sky region
Squamish, B.C. – A new model of integrated transitional housing and healthcare services will soon be supporting people with complex mental health, health and housing needs in the Sea-to-Sky region.
The new program provides housing, respite and health services in a home-like setting for up to 10 individuals who may benefit from more focused, wrap-around supports. Those supports consist of specialized mental health and substance use care, peer support, cultural support including Indigenous Cultural Support Workers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, tenant, building and food services. The program is a collaboration between the Province, BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, the District of Squamish, and local partners.
“The toxic drug crisis continues to have a devastating impact on people and communities,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Many people living with serious mental health and addictions challenges have been left behind and neglected. With our partners in Squamish, we are providing safe housing to the most vulnerable people, while also planning and delivering the health care they need right where they live.”
The program will serve adults, 19 years of age or older, experiencing unstable housing, mental health, substance use, and other health challenges and complexities. Clients will be welcome for short-term stays, ranging from three days to three months, based on individualized housing and care plans. An inter-disciplinary team will support clients as they work toward their immediate housing and healthcare goals while transitioning to longer-term supports wherever possible.
“We know that communities are safer and healthier when people have housing and the supports like the kinds offered at this new building,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “This project illustrates the dedication of various levels of government and organizations working together to end the cycle of homelessness. Thank you to all involved for bringing this project from idea to reality.”
Located in Squamish, the new transitional housing will be available to residents from across the Sea to Sky region. This initiative aligns with District of Squamish Council’s strategic priority of Connected and Livable Community by increasing the diversity of housing forms.
“We have an urgent need for additional housing for folks experiencing housing insecurity and who require a circle of supports to care for their health and wellbeing, and we are grateful to be working with our community partners to create access to safe shelter and supports for some of our most vulnerable residents,” said District of Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford. “We recognize there are members of our community who are struggling. Bringing people together to increase our supports will help to create a stronger, healthier, safer community for all our citizens.”
Transitional housing clients will develop individualized health care plans and participate in life skills programming. This model of care helps reduce demand on acute care services, instances of housing instability and crisis in the community.
“We're pleased to be working with our community partners to provide this innovative model of care for those experiencing housing insecurity and health challenges,” said Ira Roness, Director of North Shore and Sea to Sky Mental Health and Substance Use Services at VCH. “Transitional housing offers high levels of health and social supports that will strengthen the care we provide to our clients.”
Turning Point Recovery Society will operate the new transitional housing, which provides residents with a safe, inclusive environment alongside embedded health care supports. This approach brings stability and connection for residents and surrounding community. Turning Point is committed to being a good neighbour, has extensive experience operating similar programs in the region and throughout the Lower Mainland, making a difference in the communities they serve.
“Turning Point looks forward to working with our community partners and funders to expand the continuum of services we offer in the Sea to Sky Region,” said Brenda Plant, Executive Director for Turning Point Recovery Society. “This transitional housing program will provide individuals in need of stable housing and supports, a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment within which they can reclaim their health and dignity and quality of life.”
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is committed to delivering exceptional care to 1.2 million people, including the First Nations, Métis and Inuit in our region, within the traditional territories of the Heiltsuk, Kitasoo-Xai'xais, Lil'wat, Musqueam, N'Quatqua, Nuxalk, Samahquam, shíshálh, Skatin, Squamish, Tla'amin, Tsleil-Waututh, Wuikinuxv, and Xa'xtsa. VCH is British Columbia’s hub of health-care innovation, research and academic excellence, providing specialized care to patients throughout the province. Learn more at vch.ca.
The Province, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $5.1 million to this project. The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including nearly 460 homes in Squamish.
District of Squamish
Inspired by nature and hardwired for adventure, the District of Squamish is the local municipal government servicing a growing and diverse community with a population of 24,000+, inclusive of members of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) upon whose traditional unceded territory we live, work and play. Nestled between ocean and mountains, the vibrant and entrepreneurial town-feel, lush natural environment, and unmatched outdoor recreation make for a one-of a-kind lifestyle and business destination. Guided by the Squamish 2040 Official Community Plan, Council and staff work to effect meaningful change on the most important community issues of our time under five main goals: Resilient, Healthy, Connected, Liveable and Engaged.
Turning Point Recovery Society
Turning Point Recovery Society provides a continuum of addictions and mental health recovery programs in British Columbia including: licensed bed-based treatment – and community-based Outreach counselling programs as well as transitional and affordable housing. Our Outreach and Resource Support program (OARS) and our Community Counselling program (TPOCC) program offer no cost counselling and referral services for homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness as a result of substance use and/or mental health issues, poverty, unemployment and other quality of life indicators. Our Overdose Prevention Program (TPOPP) provides overdose prevention counselling, and supports. Turning Point also operates a Drop-in Center and Shower Program, a Warming Centre in Richmond for the Winter months, and an award winning Social Enterprise café.
Vancouver Coastal Health
BC Housing media contact
District of Squamish media contact
Turning Point media contact
Turning Point Recovery Society