After BC Housing purchased three Penticton motels in May, it gave notice to the Community Mental Health Association’s Unity House that it was being kicked out.
The plan is to tear down the motels, and rebuild them into larger, higher quality supportive housing, housing that currently has no room for Unity House to provide its services.
Unity House’s residents would be allowed to stay in the new buildings once they’re complete, but Unity’s services would need to be located elsewhere.
Since the announcement, the community organization has been looking for alternatives, and on Aug. 17, they plan to go to city council to try and get councillors to back them in asking for a space in BC Housing’s new buildings.
BC Housing gave the CMHA notice that they would have until April 2022 to vacate their current space.
The CMHA, through Unity House, provides medication support, mental health supports, a meals program, supportive employment and crisis intervention services. That includes having a mental health advocate located where the residents are staying, who is able to offer support with housing, ministry and health services.
The Skaha Sunrise motel houses over 80 people at the moment, with nearby Fairhaven housing another 44 and the recently proposed facility on Skaha Lake Road adding even more supportive housing.
The CMHA wants the support of Penticton’s council to advocate for their inclusion in the development of the Skaha Sunrise location.
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