A resident of a supportive housing complex in Quesnel says the proposed downtown facility at the Ramada Inn on St. Laurent Avenue would be much better for the residents.
Gina Kenneth, who has lived at Bridges Supportive Housing on Elliott Street in West Quesnel since it opened in November of 2020, lived at the shelter prior to that.
“Supportive housing is a lot better because you have your own individual suite. It’s not like you’re in and out. Like in the shelter, you get a room for five evenings and then you have to leave and somebody else gets the room. Whereas here, in supportive housing, you have your own unit. It’s like having your own apartment, your own home.”
Kenneth says the supports that come with it also make a difference.
“With no supports you have no say. I can have a worker be an advocate for me, whereas I wouldn’t get anywhere myself trying to get something from say social assistance or EI or a bank, because if you have no ID. A lot of homeless people don’t have identification or don’t have bank accounts. This place helps you set up a bank account, gets you ID, you know puts a face to a name.”
In her case, Kenneth says she is now employed as part of a peer initiative program where they go out and clean up garbage and paraphernalia.
BC Housing plans to purchase the Ramada Inn and provide 45 supportive housing units.
Within that, there would also be a shelter component which would mean that Seasons House would no longer be used as a shelter.
Before that can happen though, the property has to be rezoned.
That decision is up to Quesnel City Council.
A public hearing has been set for September 13th in Council Chambers.