Federal cash housing Nanaimo's homeless

By Ian Holmes
August 3, 2016 - 4:00pm

NANAIMO — More progress in the battle to house Nanaimo's homeless.

The federal government has come through with an additional $300,000 over the next two years to fund homeless related initiatives in Nanaimo.

United Way of Central and Northern Vancouver Island executive director Signey Madden says half of the money will pay for permanent housing for those needing it the most.

“These additional funds are going to help us get people off the streets into market rent or other housing. These are some of the hardest to serve folks that have been living in our parks, living rough for years,” said Madden.

Madden says there is actually enough money in their 'housing first' strategy to put permanent roofs over the heads of 40 people in Nanaimo over the next three years.

She says the other half of their federal financial commitment will provide other supports for the homeless.

“Some of that is the cold-wet weather shelter or other services that are helping either feed or get people into other kinds of housing.”

In February, a homeless count indicated 175 chronically homeless people living in Nanaimo.

Since 2011, the city of Nanaimo's 'Response to Homelessness Action Plan' in partnership with the B.C. Government has supplied 123 supported rental housing units in Nanaimo with a planned 36 additional units to be constructed on Bowen Road.  

Stolen puppy returned to Nanaimo home