MAPLE RIDGE – People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will soon have increased access to services, shelter spaces and housing options in Maple Ridge.
Following extensive consideration and the gathering of community feedback, the BC government has announced a multi-pronged approach to address issues of homelessness in the area:
- Intensive Case Management
- Additional shelter spaces at the Salvation Army
- Closing of the temporary shelter
- Additional funding for Hope for Freedom Society recovery home
- Investments in affordable housing for seniors, families and youth
- Rent subsidies for housing with support in the private rental market
Intensive Case Management (ICM)
BC Housing and the Fraser Health Authority will partner to create an Intensive Case Management (ICM) team to serve the community. ICM is a team-based model of care serving individuals with severe substance use disorder, who may or may not have concurrent disorders and/or mental illness. These individuals face complex challenges related to health, housing and poverty, and face barriers in accessing existing health or social services.
The Province will provide funding for an additional 30 overnight shelter spaces at the Maple Ridge Salvation Army to ensure the most vulnerable members of the community have a place to sleep and the opportunity to connect with support services. The target population will be people transitioning out of the Rain City temporary shelter. The extra spaces will be open for six months.
Closure of temporary shelter
BC Housing has informed RainCity Housing that, as part of the closure plan for the temporary shelter at 22239 Lougheed Hwy., new intakes will end effective March 1, 2017. A curfew will also be implemented at that time. BC Housing will be meeting with RainCity, the RCMP and the City of Maple Ridge to discuss implementation of the closure plan.
BC Housing will work with the Fraser Health Authority and non-profit partners to assist those currently in shelters in Maple Ridge with services provided through the ICM model and with rent supplements for more stable housing in the private market.
The Province remains committed to providing $15 million in capital funding towards a permanent shelter and/or supportive housing program, and will form a community committee to identify an appropriate location.
Hope for Freedom
The Province will provide $50,000 in funding to pay for a new kitchen for Hope for Freedom, an abstinence-based program in Maple Ridge that serves people with addictions, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Investments in Affordable Housing
The Province has committed $11 million for a new development at 11907 228th St., to be operated by the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Community Services Housing Society. This building will provide 80 units of affordable housing for seniors and families.
An additional $1 million has been committed through the Provincial Investment in Affordable Housing Initiative to the Iron Horse, a safe house for vulnerable youth that will operate in Maple Ridge.
In terms of the long-term use of 21375 Lougheed Highway, discussions will take place between the Province and the City on the future uses for the site, such as affordable housing for seniors or families.
The Province has also announced that Coast Mental Health has taken over as the new operator for Alouette Heights, a supportive housing development that provides 46 units of supportive housing.
The Province will provide $252,000 for up to 40 rent subsidies for the ICM program to ensure access to affordable housing with dedicated supports. Fraser Health will work in close collaboration with the ICM team to provide comprehensive wrap-around services. The increased rent subsidies, and supports provided by ICM teams, will help at-risk individuals with obtaining longer-term housing solutions.
Marc Dalton, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission –
“Today’s announcements are in response to community engagements that we have had over the past months. Public input has been vital to our efforts and focus. In collaboration with the Province and community partners we have developed a plan to provide the services for those in most in need, while considering the valid concerns of residents”
Doug Bing, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows –
“We are confident that this approach will lead to positive outcomes for our most vulnerable citizens. We will continue to work with the community to find an appropriate location for permanent shelter and supportive housing development.”
Dr. Victoria Lee, Chief Medical Health Officer, Fraser Health –
“Stabilizing people who use drugs is the first step in helping them recover to live a healthy, vibrant life. The Intensive Case Management team will be a support for these individuals who face complex challenges, ensuring that they receive health care services, housing and other needs to help them transition to more stable lives.”
Darrell Burnham, CEO for Coast Mental Health –
“Coast Mental Health has been successfully managing supported housing developments for 45 years. Today, we operate 14 different supported housing developments across the Lower Mainland. We ensure our tenants have the support they need to thrive as members of inclusive and safe neighborhoods. We look forward to working with the staff and residents of Alouette Heights and contributing to the broader Maple Ridge community.”
Darrell Pilgrim, Executive Director, Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries –
“The Salvation Army is committed to serving the people and communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. We appreciate this opportunity to provide temporary emergency shelter to those who are experiencing the challenges of homelessness. In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, the Salvation Army will continue to provide vital support and transformational programming that assists individuals as they move toward independence and permanent, stable housing solutions.”
For more information on affordable housing programs and the province’s efforts to end homelessness in BC,please visit: