Melany MacDonald, the Executive Director of the Quesnel Shelter and Support Society, hosted a good neighbour meeting at the Elks Hall on Thursday (April 25) afternoon.
There, she told a small crowd all about Tulwas House…
“Telwus House is actually a Southern Carrier term and it means “starts to run river.” So because Tulwas House will be built on land that is located near the Fraser River and the Quesnel River, which traditionally were places of gathering for local area First Nations, combined with the idea of a place of recovery and a new opportunity to run with a second chance, we chose the name Tulwas House.”
MacDonald also went over what was in the good neighbour agreement for the facility, and she also tried to alleviate concerns that this facility, on Elliott Street, was not going to be like Seasons House, which is Quesnel’s downtown homeless shelter…
“The shelter is a completely different facility and a completely different program altogether. We’re not providing emergency shelter beds at the new facility. What we are providing is long term stable housing, supportive housing with wrap around services and supports for our tenants, as well as supportive recovery beds which is a program we run in partnership with the Northern Health Authority, so two separate facilities entirely.”
MacDonald says the four supportive recovery beds are in addition to 28 supportive housing rental units.
She says she hopes the Committee can also work together on some neighbourhood revitalization initiatives in that area…
” I myself have lived in a few houses on that street, I know how run down it is and I think that this facility is going to be a beautiful new facility and it something that we can begin to build off of, and work together on some other neighbourhood revitalization stuff.”
Mandatory participants in the Good Neighbour Agreement include the Quesnel Shelter and Support Society, the City of Quesnel and the RCMP.
Northern Health, School District 28, the Quesnel Tillicum Society, the North Cariboo Aboriginal Family Program Society, West Quesnel Business Association and community residents have also been invited to participate.
MacDonald says she expects construction to begin in June or July.
She is not sure at this point when the facility will open.