BC Housing has purchased land for permanent year-round shelter in Cranbrook. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.

BC Housing has purchased land for permanent year-round shelter in Cranbrook. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.

Province buys land in Cranbrook for permanent homeless shelter

The Province has purchased land in Cranbrook that will be used to develop a permanent homeless shelter space.

The land,located at 209 16th Ave N, includes a building with offices and a large space that previously served as a fitness centre, which will be converted into a 40-bed shelter facility.

“This purchase ensures vulnerable members of the Cranbrook community have access to safe and secure shelter spaces with supports, year round,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing, in a news release. “Our government will continue to take decisive action through our Permanent Housing Plan to ensure people experiencing homelessness receive the housing and supports they need, when and where they need them.”

The same site previously went through a contentious municipal rezoning process approved by city council nearly two years ago. However, extensive renovations were needed to convert the facility into an appropriate shelter space, which BC Housing was reluctant to do with a leased building, based on presentations to city council last fall.

Between the two-lot purchase and renovations, the province is investing $4.4 million into the project.

The site currently houses offices associated with the Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C., a non-profit organization that is currently providing programs, support and services for the province’s temporary homeless shelter operations at the Travelodge.

“Community Connections is grateful and excited that this project is going ahead,” said Nancy Reid, executive director, CCSBC. “The community has been looking for signs of progress towards a permanent shelter and this brings us closer to seeing that happen. This is an important step in developing a continuum of housing in Cranbrook.”

CCSBC will operate the new permanent shelter once renovations are complete, which will be staffed on site around the clock to provide the necessary supports and service. The province will provide $1.6 million in annual operating funding to CCSBC.

Additionally, once the new permanent shelter space opens, operations at the Travelodge will cease, according to the province.

More to come



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

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