|Officials gathered at Park Avenue today to celebrate the|
completion of the Crow's Nest Lodge Supportive Housing complex
(photo from MLA Rice's facebook page)
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice delivered some long awaited news on the housing front for Prince Rupert on Friday, announcing the completion and opening of the Crow's Nest Lodge, the 36 unit supportive modular housing complex that has been taking shape along Park Avenue.
At a mid-Friday afternoon announcement, the MLA and a number of other speakers outlined the path that led to the delivery of the first large scale development of supportive housing for Prince Rupert.
Following some opening remarks from Elder Murray Smith, Ms. Rice, along with Mayor Lee Brain spoke to the three year journey that came out of a protest movement in the city which saw a Tent City set up on the fountain side of City Hall in November of 2017.
The tent city movement, which was referred to often during Friday's official opening of the Lodge clearly caught the attention of the provincial and municipal politicians, with the province, city and Transition House Society all quickly coming together to put in place the emergency shelter on Third West in the winter of 2017.
The emergency shelter was to be a temporary measure while the partner groups put together the plan to deliver the Crow's Nest Lodge to the Park Avenue location.
In her comments today, the North Coast MLA observed as to how the homes would offer a new beginning for those that move in.
Crow's Nest Lodge will give people a warm safe place, where people can sleep in comfort, have privacy and most importantly as Murray said, have hope.
These new homes, will provide relief to people living without shelter and to families with loved ones in need of support.
These homes and services, will help people regroup and recover and give them opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness.
These homes are also a new beginning a strong start on the journey to a better life.
In his remarks today, Mayor Brain offered up his thoughts as to how fast it all came together starting from the announcement day of November 13th of 2017 when MLA Rice outlined the first steps towards what was then a 44 unit structure.
Along the way however, the capacity would change from 44 to 36 and there would be some setbacks to the timeline for the project.
Such were the delays, that the most recent hoped for move in date of the fall of 2018, was modified over the summer of that year, with the occupancy dates shifting towards the spring of 2019 and today's announcement that the building is about to go into service to the community.
Both the MLA and the Mayor made note of the partnerships that were forged to bring the project together, along with the challenges that came along as the housing project moved forward.
Key making the place work, will be the staff assembled by the Transition House Society which began their hiring calls in January to be able to welcome their new guests from day one on.
Towards those supports, the Crow's Nest Lodge will be offering staffing and support on a twenty four hour, seven day-a-week basis.
With the opening and move in at the supportive housing facility on Park Avenue scheduled for the end of this month, the existing emergency shelter will soon close as those making use of the Third Avenue facility make their way to their new homes.
You can hear the comments from those in attendance at today's announcement below:
Ms. Rice's Facebook portal also features a number of photos of the new accommodations.
More notes on today's announcement of the opening can be found from this information piece.
Some background on the history of the development can be reviewed below:
January 16 -- Transition Society set to fill employment positions for Crow's Nest Lodge
January 16 -- Council has two conversation topics for the Ministry of Highways
December 24 -- Prince Rupert Homeless shelter receives extended funding through the winter
December 10 -- Supportive Housing Project progressing along Park Avenue
October 31 -- Land clearing complete, Prince Rupert Supportive Housing site sits ready for construction phase
July 31 -- Timeline shifts for Park Avenue Supportive Housing In Prince Rupert
June 28 -- Thoughts on amenities, road safety among Council commentary on Park Avenue housing permit process
June 25 -- Council to review the Development Permit Application for Park Avenue Supportive Housing plans
May 29 -- The Path towards the Park Avenue Supportive Housing project starts with a Public Notice
April 20 -- Much anticipated supportive housing proposal will see summer time build set for property on Park Avenue
March 1 -- North Coast MLA's Budget Defence includes Prince Rupert references
November 29 -- Dismantling of City Hall Tent City, gives birth to new community based Society for the Homeless
November 24 -- Mayor indicates Tent City needs to come down by end of weekend ... Tent City supporters say not so fast!
November 17 -- Prince Rupert Emergency Shelter site set for McLean and Rudderham building
November 16 -- Province's housing announcement features Prince Rupert plans, along with news for Terrace and Vernon
November 14 -- Province to allocate 44 modular units for housing need in Prince Rupert; efforts towards winter shelter option to continue
November 10 -- North Coast MLA to provide Housing update at Tuesday's Council session
November 9 -- As tents go up, Prince Rupert finds itself off the housing radar with Victoria