KELOWNA, BC, October 29, 2020 – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna is opening their fourth supportive housing building for people who are at risk of, or are experiencing, homelessness.
The new residents of Ellis Place, located at 1055 Ellis Street, will move into the three-story, 38-unit modular apartment building the first week of November.
Each apartment has its own private washroom, shower, kitchen, sleeping and living space. The building itself includes a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, storage and amenity space, laundry, and a medical room.
Recognizing our most vulnerable citizens face significant risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, the process to establish the new building was expedited through a partnership between the City of Kelowna and the Province, in order to provide more housing and supportive options.
“The City is committed to supporting the Journey Home Strategy focusing on ending chronic and episodic homelessness, introducing measures to prevent homelessness in the first place and implementing a coordinated systems approach to homelessness,” said Colin Basran, mayor, City of Kelowna. “Homelessness is an evolving, dynamic crisis in our community and these kinds of partnerships go a long way towards creating solutions.”
CMHA Kelowna staff will be on-site 24/7 and in-house supports including meal programs, peer support, and health and wellness service will be available to residents. CMHA Kelowna and Interior Health are excited to be piloting a collaborative initiative to provide additional clinical supports to address health, mental health, and substance use concerns on-site, seven days a week.
“We anticipate this unique partnership will be a game changer for residents and for the community,” says Shelagh Turner, Executive Director, CMHA Kelowna. “With the addition of Ellis Place to our other housing in the community, our organization is now providing more than 200 individuals with a place to call home. And we are also connecting them with supports that will help them to stay housed and move forward in their wellness journey.”
Turner adds that the opening of Ellis Place marks a significant step in advancing the City’s Journey Home Strategy with the goal of adding 300 units of housing with supports. “We are proud of the role we are playing in the community’s collective commitment to ending homelessness.”