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22 complex-care spaces coming to Chilliwack next year in multi-use housing project

‘It’s a new way of doing things that looks at the whole person,’ MLA Paddon said about complex care
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon announces complex-care spaces coming to Chilliwack on Dec. 13, 2022. (Jennifer Feinberg/Chilliwack Progress)

Complex-care housing is coming to Chilliwack next year with a “person-centred” approach for those with overlapping mental-health and substance-use challenges.

There will be 22 units in the new supportive housing/shelter hybrid on Trethewey Avenue specifically reserved for complex-care clients served by Fraser Health.

“Complex care housing is unique,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent, at the press conference in Chilliwack on behalf of the minister for mental health and addictions, Jennifer Whiteside.

The wrap-around nature of the services mean that if residents in complex care have to go into treatment for example, they won’t lose their housing, the MLA explained.

“It’s a new way of doing things that really looks at the whole person,” Paddon said.

Complex-care clients will have access to support from nurses, peer workers, social workers and other health-care professionals, along with substance-use treatment and other specialized services inside the previously announced housing project at 45857 Trethewey Ave. The multi-use housing, run by Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery in partnership with BC Housing, will have 49 spaces for supportive housing, with another 22 spaces for complex-care delivered by Fraser Health, as well as 42 shelter beds.

RELATED: Trethewey housing project part of rapid response to homelessness

Complex-care can include those suffering from trauma and brain injuries. The province has earmarked $164 million over the next three years to provide complex-care housing to as many as 500 people throughout British Columbia.

“Every person in British Columbia deserves a home and somewhere they can feel safe and live with dignity,” said Jennifer Whiteside, minister of mental health and addictions. “Complex-care housing services in Chilliwack will connect people with the supports they need to access care, maintain or find new housing, and help clients break out of the cycle of homelessness.”

RELATED: Hybrid supportive housing and shelter model fast-tracked

Construction for the multi-use housing project is expected to be complete in fall 2023.

“We are learning more every day about the needs and vulnerability of the clients we serve,” said Jacklyn Mcmaster, community health worker, Fraser Health. “Every day we feel a sense of pride because we are supporting clients to go through life-changing treatments, such as surgeries and any other needed health care, while sustaining their housing.”

Complex care services can include:

• medication management;

• psychosocial rehabilitation supports;

• Indigenous-specific services;

• recreational and leisure activities;

• life-skills support and skill development;

• peer-support workers; and

• addictions medicine.

“Phoenix Society welcomes the additional supports and services that complex-care housing will bring to residents,” said David MacIntyre, CEO, Phoenix Society. “Through complex-care housing, residents will receive the support they need to stabilize their housing and improve their health outcomes. Phoenix looks forward to helping residents on their journey and building better outcomes for both the individual and the community.”

The complex-care model was announced in January 2022, with services coming for Abbotsford, Bella Coola, Chilliwack, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Powell River, the Northern Health region, Sunshine Coast, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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