Temporary supportive housing units at Labieux Road. (Nicholas Pescod/NEWS BULLETIN)

Majority of Nanaimo’s Discontent City residents moved into supportive housing sites

A few spaces remain at Terminal Avenue and Labieux Road locations

More than 150 people who were living at Discontent City are now in housing.

Residents from the now-closed tent city in downtown Nanaimo had begun moving into two temporary supportive housing projects, located at 250 Terminal Ave. and 2020 Labieux Rd., by the end of last month.

Now, 155 people from Discontent City are living in temporary housing, said Dominic Flanagan, executive director for B.C. Housing, at a press conference Monday morning.

“The good news is that over the last two weeks, 155 people who were formerly residing at tent city on Port Drive are now inside at both sites. So people who were formerly homeless now have somewhere to live,” Flanagan said during a press conference which also included officials from Pacifica Housing and Island Crisis Care Society.

Flanagan didn’t specifically say whether everyone living at Discontent City would be placed in temporary supportive housing, or how many people were denied. He said B.C. Housing is still reviewing data and believe there are some people from Discontent City who are elsewhere in the community.

“We’re still going through the numbers and we believe there may be a handful of people who … may be couch surfing or in hospital,” he said. “So we got a number of people following up still and being engaged and getting connected to either a shelter or housing.”

According to Flanagan, there will be 167 people housed in total. He said B.C. Housing had expected the number to be higher, but had to sacrifice some units for common area space and other amenities. He said there are still some units available at both sites.

RELATED: B.C. Housing working to meet timelines on temporary supportive housing in Nanaimo

RELATED: Supportive housing meant to fill ‘urgent need’ in Nanaimo

RELATED: Residents expected to move into Labieux Road supportive housing this week

RELATED: Labieux supportive housing opens, Terminal delayed a few days

The majority of the construction work at both sites has been completed according to Flanagan, who said the remaining work will be finished by the end of the week. He said the main priority was to get people into housing.

“We were really focused on making sure the move went as safe as possible for a very vulnerable population. So, we took our time and we worked with people,” he said.

Flanagan said while B.C. Housing had to address the urgent need of the people living at Discontent City, there is a recognition that much more work needs to be done in Nanaimo. He said there are community outreach workers who will be contacting homeless individuals in the city’s downtown area in an effort to get them into shelter.

Angela McNulty-Buell, director of support services for Pacifica Housing, the organization responsible for operating the Labieux Road site, said people are happy to have a place they can call home.

“Folks are just happy. On the first day of moving in last Friday, there was a young man who as soon as he came in, called his mom and started crying,” she said, later adding “That’s been the ongoing narrative.”

Violet Hayes, executive director with Island Crisis Care Society, the organization in charge of running the Terminal Avenue site, said the first residents moved into the site on Thursday and Friday.

“Thursday and Friday were very busy days as residents moved. Hectic, but very rewarding to see the faces of the people,” she said.

Hayes said the Terminal site will provide similar services as the Labieux site. She said her site has a women’s only building and that residents were carefully selected to ensure there was a good mix at both sites.

“We’ve really worked to try and ensure that is the best fit for the situation,” she said.

Hayes also said that since residents began moving into the site, she hasn’t heard any complaints from nearby businesses along Terminal Avenue. She said if nearby businesses are concerned, her organization is very happy to work with them and discuss their concerns.







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Massive early-morning blaze destroys unoccupied Nanoose Bay home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire

Captain Dziadyk to end season with Oceanside Generals on high note

Qualicum Beach player is longest-serving player in team history

Petition underway to stop bylaw on homeless camping in Regional District of Nanaimo

‘Canadians are known for their meekness but this time we need to have a voice’

Qualicum Beach approves Pheasant Glen zoning amendment

Majority of residents who spoke at public hearing endorsed proposed amendment bylaw

Centre withdraws from cell tower project in Qualicum Beach

TELUS plans to continue to look at plans to improve cellphone reception in the area

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

First win, fifth win highlight BC Senior Curling finals

Donna Mychaluk wins first title after finishing second five times; Wes Craig takes fifth crown

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read