Supportive housing -- coming to a neighbourhood near you?
More than 1,500 new supportive housing units are being built in the coming years outside of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside – but not everyone is welcoming their new neighbours.
After years of increasing homelessness and little action, the province, city and private sector are forging ahead with 14 supportive housing buildings in Vancouver.
Most are downtown, but they go as far west as Dunbar St. and 16th Ave. The most contentious so far has been the Mount Pleasant building at Broadway and Fraser St.
City Hall has already knocked it down from 11 storeys to eight after neighbours complained it was too big, but critics still feel it will stigmatize an area struggling to gentrify.
"At what point do neighbourhoods get to say, ‘No, this doesn't make sense at this scale,'" resident Megan Reiter said.
Advocates say the buildings have to be big to make it viable to provide support to the residents. The location is currently home to the Broadway Youth Resource Centre, which will be expanded and incorporated into the new building.
Worker Robert Wilmot says the facility is important to local youths, and has "the capacity to intervene and change their futures, getting them back into school, getting them employment."
That could prevent a lifetime of struggle, he says, and a high cost to society.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mi-Jung Lee