(Image / BC Housing)

A new 52-unit homeless housing project has just opened in Parksville last week.

According to the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the new building is designed to help the island’s most vulnerable residents get back on their feet.

The three-storey modular building, called Orca Place, offers life and employment skills training, around the clock health and wellness support services, and two or more staff members present 24 hours a day.

People living in Orca Place will have access to one of the building’s 52 studio or one-bedroom units, that each come with a private washroom and “mini-kitchen”.

The facility also includes a communal space for counseling and community meetings, a multi-purpose room, a commercial kitchen, a large dining room, and office space.

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“The supports offered through this new housing will help residents begin the journey to rebuild their lives,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo in a statement.

“We can help people move on from homelessness by bringing them indoors and offering them the supports they need. This approach gives people the opportunities they deserve and is good for the well-being of the community.”

The building, located at 222 Corfield Street, cost a total of $8.4 million to build. Moving forward, the province has promised to provide an annual operating subsidy for the facility.

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