As a result of Cool Aid’s shelter staff observing the repeating pattern of homeless people cycling in and out of the emergency shelter month after month, the concept of Swift House was born. The building, with Cool Aid’s first apartments, opened in 1991, and today is a 49-unit complex designed specifically for people who have struggled with homelessness and maintaining a tenancy. The idea was for residents to live independently, with the support of staff trained and experienced in working with challenging behaviour.
The tenants banded together and the project soon developed into a tenant-involved community: it was the residents who set up a social space, became involved in decision-making, and took on caretaking duties of their building. The model continues to be successful to this day.
Swift House is home to Cool Aid’s commercial kitchen facility, where Chef Alan King-Jones and his team plan and create the meals that are transported hot to each of Cool Aid’s three seniors supportive housing buildings: FairWay Woods, Olympic Vista and Hillside Terrace.
Swift House is also now home to the REES Centre, offering support, recovery, and a pathway back to work for people struggling with addictions, mental health, or homelessness.
Swift House is made possible with the support of:
- Province of BC and BC Housing
- Island Health
- City of Victoria (tax exemption)
1634 Store Street