36 Units of Seniors Housing in Saanich: Olympic Vista Breaks Ground

May 7, 2010 – The Victoria Cool Aid Society is pleased to announce that a ground-breaking ceremony was held today at 3814 Carey Road in Saanich for the “Olympic Vista” apartments – a supportive housing development of 36 units in Saanich.

“Olympic Vista is Cool Aid’s ninth supported housing building in the Capital Region and our first in Saanich, and will open early next year,” said John Crean, Cool Aid’s manager of housing. “With the addition of these 36 new studio apartments, Cool Aid will provide long-term housing and support services for a total of 292 people in Saanich, Victoria and Langford.”

 

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The Cool Aid Housing Program provides affordable, supported housing to the people who are most marginalized in our community and whom would otherwise most likely be homeless.  Tenant supports include life skills promotion, medication monitoring, volunteer opportunities, regular tenant gatherings and organized outings. Olympic Vista, like Cool Aid’s other two seniors buildings, will also offer nutritious meals.

Olympic Vista has been made possible by the generous support of our partners:

  • BC Housing is contributing the $7.2 million construction and assembly cost and will pay for the ongoing building maintenance and support services.
  • The Capital Regional Hospital District has contributed the land, valued at $1.15 million.
  • VANOC is to be commended for their thoughtful and careful planning so that Olympic athletes’ housing could be re-assembled in Saanich, and other communities in BC, as a lasting legacy to improve the community for everyone and help end homelessness.

Victoria Cool Aid Society provides supported housing, primary health and dental care, emergency shelter, mental health support and employment opportunities to adults who are marginalized in Greater Victoria. For more information visit www.CoolAid.org or call 250-383-1977.

Cool Aid, BC Housing and CRHD are partners in the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, whose mandate is to house and support those who are homeless; provide the necessary infrastructure to lead, coordinate, monitor and ensure results on Victoria’s homelessness crisis; and to prevent homelessness from occurring in the future.

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Information:        www.CoolAid.org/housing    and   www.CoolAid.org/olympic

John Crean, Manager of Housing, Cool Aid
250-414-4793, jcrean@CoolAid.org

Kathy Stinson, Executive Director, Cool Aid
250-383-1977, kstinson@CoolAid.org


 

Speaking Notes: Olympic Vista Breaks Ground

Cathy Stigant, Board Chair

Every time the Victoria Cool Aid Society constructs a new building we feel renewed hope. Hope that together we can end homelessness. Hope that together we will end homelessness.

Thanks to our building partners – BC Housing and the Capital Regional Hospital District – we stand proudly here today to formally break ground on the Olympic Vista apartments. Thank you for joining us to celebrate this important moment for the community.

Olympic Vista represents hope for a better future for 36 adults who will soon have modest studio apartments in Saanich. We welcome these new neighbours whom we are privileged to serve. We welcome a better community for Saanich and the Capital Region.

At the same time, we must acknowledge how difficult is the struggle, in these uncertain economic times, to end homelessness in our community.

We have joined together in the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness because we have hope. Because we know that solutions are better, and more cost effective, than the status quo.

This year, Cool Aid’s services are at capacity and beyond. In troubled economic times, the poor and marginalized are often hurt the most. Our employees see it every month in increasing demands for Cool Aid services – health care, emergency shelter, housing, and support for mental health, addictions and employment.

Olympic Vista is Cool Aid’s 9th supported housing building in the Capital Region and our first in Saanich. With the addition of these 36 new apartments, Cool Aid will provide long-term housing and support services for 292 people in Saanich, Victoria and Langford.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds more individuals who are homeless in the Capital Region. Many more projects like Olympic Vista are needed to create a better future for our communities.

The Cool Aid Housing Program provides affordable, supportive housing to the people who are most marginalized in our community, and whom would otherwise most likely be homeless.  Tenant supports include life skills promotion, medication monitoring, volunteer opportunities, regular tenant gatherings and organized outings. Olympic Vista, like Cool Aid’s other two seniors buildings, will also serve nutritious meals.

Olympic Vista would not be possible without the generous support of our partners.

BC Housing has contributed the entire $7.2 million construction and assembly cost for Olympic Vista and will pay for the ongoing building maintenance and support services for those who live here.

Thank you Murray Coell and the BC Government for your strong support of housing for citizens trapped by poverty and unfortunate circumstance.

The Capital Regional Hospital District has contributed the land upon which we stand, valued at $1.15 million. Without land there can be no low-income housing.

Thank you Graham Hill, and the Capital Regional Hospital District, for your continued care and generosity to our neighbours who need help and hope. And thank you Mayor Frank Leonard, and the District of Saanich, for approving the plans for Olympic Vista.

On behalf of Cool Aid, I would also like to thank our new neighbours, represented here today by Susan Belford and the Mount View Colquitz Community Association. We look forward to working with you to ensure that our tenants, employees and building, are a positive contribution to this neighbourhood.

VANOC is also to be commended for their wise planning. How farsighted that Olympic athletes’ housing will be re-assembled right here, in Saanich, as a lasting legacy for all British Columbians.

Cool Aid, BC Housing and the Capital Regional Hospital District, are all partners in the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. Together, our mandate is to house and support those who are homeless; to ensure results on the Capital Region’s homelessness crisis; and to prevent homelessness from occurring in the future.

Together we have taken a positive step forward today – providing new hope for the future.

Together we will end homelessness.

Thank you very much.