Six homeless individuals in Williams Lake now have housing in part of the Housing First project.
Anne Burrill is the project manager.
“Several of the individuals that are participating in our program right now had been in the emergency shelter system for a number of months. A number of other participants were paying a small amount of rent to essentially camp out in the living room and some of those were not maybe the healthiest environments.”
Burrill says that one of the important pieces of Housing First is a partnership with landlords and that they’ve been very fortunate to work with Williams Lake Rentals.
Each of the individuals are all connected to and working with support services, with the annual per person cost to provide rent subsidy and support services at $6,000 to $8,000 compared to $35,000-$135,000 for the cost services estimated annually for someone who is homeless.
Burrill says they are now looking at establishing the project into a 3 year pilot program which would support 20 to 25 individuals a year, adding that 40% of the funding is secured for the project.
Over 400 people access homeless outreach services annually in Williams Lake.