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New 51-unit supportive housing facility in Nanaimo

Nanaimo has welcomed its second supportive housing project with fifty-one individual units for people who are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness. Located strategically near Nanaimo Fire Hall No. 1 and the Nanaimo RCMP detachment, Cornerstone is managed by Connective Nanaimo, formerly known as the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society.

This facility is equipped to operate around the clock. Additionally, it provides a comprehensive range of services including life-skills training, employment assistance, counseling, and mental health support alongside referrals to other critical services. Four of the fifty-one units are wheelchair accessible, each complete with a washroom, kitchenette, shower, refrigerator, furniture, and a bed. The residents also receive two daily meals, laundry facilities, a communal lounge, a dining area, and a medical room.

Funded by B.C. Housing with an annual contribution of $1.5 million, Cornerstone aims to offer transitional housing solutions to its residents. The initial group moving into Cornerstone are transfers from Newcastle Place, a temporary housing complex managed by the Island Crisis Care Society since 2018. Located at 250 Terminal Ave, plans for Newcastle Place include the construction of two five-story buildings to provide over ninety units for single adults, low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities who need housing.

The first facility to open in Nanaimo was in 2022 – Samaritan Place on Nicol St. offers fifty-one self-contained supportive studio units for men and women, as well as fourteen ‘bridge-to-housing’ spaces exclusively for vulnerable women. These two facilities are part of an MoU signed between the Province and the City of Nanaimo in 2019 to deliver four permanent and purpose-built supportive housing developments in the community.