Community

Special anniversary for transition housing

This month, on Aug. 11, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Kelowna branch will mark the one-year anniversary of the Willowbridge Transitional Housing Project.

To celebrate the occasion, an open house of the facility will take place, from 1 to 3 p.m., at   330 Boyce Cres.

The building was funded by the provincial and federal governments  on land donated to the project by the City of Kelowna.

The ongoing operation and maintenance of the building is provided by the CMHA’s Kelowna branch  through funding provided by B.C. Housing.

The building is comprised of 40 studio apartments with a large common space for programming, socializing and preparing meals.

The focus of the program is to provide short-term supported housing for individuals who experience multiple barriers to maintaining longer term housing.

CMHA staff are on hand 24/7 to work closely with tenants to ensure they have the tools they need to be successful in their next step. A key component of the program is the connection tenants have to community agencies and supports.

In the past year, 84 people between the ages of 20 and 87 have lived at Willowbridge, many who have moved on to successfully being housed in this and other communities

“Because of Willowbridge, I went from living on the street to having everything that one would need to succeed in life, in just a few short months. If it were not for the staff at Willowbridge, I would not be where I am today,” sad one former transition housing tenant.

“I feel proud and lucky to have had you in my life. I cannot tell you what a positive impact Willowbridge had on me.”

“It’s a privilege to be a part of this work and being a part of seeing the tenants of Willowbridge discover their own resilience, learn new skills, build new positive relationships and take the next step in their lives, ” said Shelagh Turner, executive director of the Kelowna branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“There is still so much work to do in our community, but this anniversary is a time to celebrate the hard work of the tenants and the great work of the CMHA team.

“It’s also our chance to thank the community for their support and collaboration.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association  promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness, through advocacy, education, research and service.

 

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