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VIDEO: Transitional housing project opens on Hwy 97 in Kelowna

Kelowna's Trailside Transitional Housing project is ready for people to move in.

The modular home cluster will be home for 60 seniors and people with disabilities who have been experiencing homelessness.

While local news media toured the facility, BC Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon issued a news release pointing out that, along with food and shelter, residents will receive life-skills training and care plans.

"We're providing people with the support and stability they need to transition out of homelessness," he said.

Trailside, which is located on Hwy 97 near Leathead, will be operated by the Okanagan-based Turning Points Collaborative Society.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia <who> Tara Schritter, Turning Points Collaborative Society

"We will have individuals coming out of our shelters in Kelowna," explained spokesperson Tara Tschritter.

"We're providing a space for them to heal, work on their wellness and also work on any sort of barriers that they have to housing."

Tschritter explained that the facility is not designed as a place to live long-term, but truly for transition.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"We'll be doing intensive case management here," she said.

"Well be helping with everything from budgeting to saving to making sure they have access to any income that they're entitled to."

Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas also put out a statement in conjunction with the opening.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"Council's goal is to free up space in shelters with the intention of decreasing the outdoor sheltering area along the Rail Trail and other parts of the city," he said.

The facility includes a safe consumption area for drugs and alcohol, but the common areas are expected to be drug-free.

"I think it's really important to have overdose prevention spaces for people who are using substances," said Tschritter.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

Still, it's expected that the majority of the residents will be people who aren't dealing with addiction problems.

"We want a safe space for people to use substances, but we're not looking to build a community of people who are using substances."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

The facility features a series of modular housing units that have been pulled together with space for 60 rooms, with kitchen and dining facilities, showers, bathrooms and common areas.

Residents will have access to Interior Health's new Integrated Health Outreach Team.

That means episodic primary care, wound care, medication support, clinical referrals and connections to substance use and mental health treatment.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

It's the second of three 60-unit projects which began with the tiny home project, STEP Place, which opened recently on Kelowna's Crowley Avenue.

City officials are still looking for a location for the third project.

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