(Image / City of Nanaimo Facebook)

With winter in full swing on Vancouver Island, over 150 people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo have transitioned from living in tents to units to supportive housing.

Two supportive housing sites will be located at Newcastle Place and Labieux Road, and will consist of modular housing.

Each location will have a minimum of three staff members plus security available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support both the new residents and any neighbourhood concerns.

Besides the 24 hour staff, the supportive housing sites will also have an operations manager, cooks, property maintenance, and general support workers.

The move also included transportation, storage, and other individual-specific support for the new residents.

“A little help and a place to call home can be the difference between a life of despair, and hope for the future,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a news release.

“Our government is proud to work with partners to take quick action and safely move people from the streets and tents into homes where they are safe, welcome and supported.”

By the numbers

The support site at Newcastle Place will be run by the Island Crisis Care Society, and is located at 250 Terminal Avenue North. It will include approximately 80 units.

The second location, at 2020 Labieux Road, will include roughly 90 units and will be operated by Pacifica Housing Advisory Association.

During the chilly winter, an additional 15 shelter beds will be available at St. Peter’s Church, and 8 will be open at the Unitarian Church.

Both projects were funded by the provincial government and the city of Nanaimo in conjunction with multiple health, mental health, and community organizations.

“Now that we have moved our tenants into the supportive housing, we are excited to build community, provide the needed supports and work closely with our neighbours to facilitate strong relationships,” said Angela McNulty-Buell, director of support services for Pacifica Housing in the same release.