(New supportive housing building, Spaken House/Province of B.C. Flickr)

A new two-storey apartment building on Hillside Ave has been constructed for the purpose of housing at-risk Indigenous women in Victoria.

This is the first supportive housing establishment of its kind to ever open in B.C. and is comprised of 21 self-contained apartment units reserved for Indigenous women who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the city.

The Spaken House, also known as Flower House, is located at 833 Hillside Ave and each housing unit within contains a private washroom and mini kitchen.

Building amenities include a shared office, laundry room, commercial kitchen, and a common dining lounge.

(Inside a housing unit/Province of B.C. Flickr)
(Inside a housing unit/Province of B.C. Flickr)

The building will be operated by Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society (ACEH) staff who will be on site 24/7.

“As we prepare to enter into Spaken House, my heart feels full to have witnessed this become a reality for the women moving in soon,” said Gloria Roze, Elder, ACEH.

“Our people have been needing this for a long time and I hope it leads to more amazing housing successes. I have seen land-based healing work for our people in positive and profound ways. Culturally supportive housing is a pathway for the spirit and internal growth. You feel the love when you step into Spaken.”

In addition to the aforementioned amenities, Spaken House will also feature a therapeutic garden with plants and natural medicines, to serve as a resource for healing and well-being.

This project was funded by the province and was created at a cost of $3.8 million to the project through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program. B.C. will continue to provide $997,000/year for operating costs.

Residents will begin moving into these new units in mid-August 2020.

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