First of its kind supportive housing facility for Indigenous women opening in Victoria
Tenants are expected to move into the building in mid-August: (Province of B.C. / Flickr)
VICTORIA -- More than 20 supportive homes for Indigenous women are opening in Victoria, as part of a first of its kind development in B.C.
A total of 21 new supportive homes will open at Spaken House, also known as Flower House, located at 833 Hillside Ave., according to the B.C. government.
Spaken House was designed as a modular two-storey apartment building, with each individual unit featuring a private washroom and mini-kitchen.
The building will also have shared spaces, including a commercial kitchen, laundry room, dining lounge and office.
Day-to-day operations at Spaken House will be managed by the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society (ACEH) who will have staff members at the building 24 hours a day.
Twice a week, an Elder or “Aunty” will also be available to provide one-on-one support for residents.
“Everyone at every level has done their part to make this a reality – Spaken House is beautiful,” said Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, executive director of the ACEH in a release Friday.
“The Aboriginal Coalition team will work diligently to ensure the environment is safe, builds on a sense of family and community and incorporates pathways to healing and recovery into the programming,” she said.
Residents of the facility will have access to support programs for physical, mental and emotional health. Traditional foods, teachings from Elders and cultural craft programs will also be available.
The supportive housing facility is the first of its kind in B.C., according to the provincial government.
“With the help of our partners, this housing with wraparound supports will provide urgently needed homes for Indigenous women in the community, surrounded by their tradition and culture,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake.
The facility is intended for Indigenous women in Victoria who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. All tenants are expected to move in by mid-August.
The B.C. government contributed approximately $3.8 million to build Spaken House, and will provide the facility with an annual operating fund of roughly $997,000 moving forward.