The provincial government has purchased the Fortune Motel in North Kamloops, with the property at 654 Fortune Dr. destined to be turned into supportive housing for those who are homeless.
The government, via BC Housing, bought the motel property for approximately $3.6 million through the Supportive Housing Fund.
The motel across the street from McDonald's will initially be renovated to provide up to 40 temporary supportive homes and BC Housing will work with the City of Kamloops and the community on a plan for the permanent use of the property.
BC Housing is in the process of finding an experienced non-profit operator to manage the project. A request for proposals will be issued in the coming weeks.
Other supportive housing projects in Kamloops are managed by the ASK Wellness Society and Canadian Mental Health Association, among other agencies.
The future operator will provide support services, such as daily meals, mentorship and life-skills training. It will also support residents to access mental-health and addiction treatment for those who are seeking this type of support. There will also be multiple staff on site around the clock who will monitor the property and support residents' well-being.
The former motel includes two buildings — a larger 28-unit building and a smaller 12-unit building. Prior to reopening as supportive housing in the early fall , the property will undergo renovations to create an amenity and programming space, as well as upgrades to the rooms and site upgrades to ensure the property is secure and safe for residents and the community.
BC Housing will be applying to the city to rezone the property later this year and will submit a proposal outlining potential long-term plans for the site, which BC Housing has yet to determine.
The future non-profit operator will also set up a community advisory committee that will oversee the supportive housing's integration within the community and address any concerns raised by people in the neighbourhood.
"Buying this property means that dozens of people who are struggling to find a place to live in Kamloops will have safe and secure shelter, as we work with the community on plans for this property to provide the housing people need for years to come," Attorney General David Eby said in a release.
"While there is much more to do, helping people come inside, keeping them off of the streets and out of the parks is good news for them and the community."
More information on the project is online at letstalkhousingbc.ca/kamloops-654-fortune, where the public can also ask questions.