On March 30, the City fulfilled a Provincial request to provide a list of City-owned facilities that might be suitable for use to shelter/self-isolate/care for homeless individuals during the pandemic.
In response to a request from BC Housing, the Province and the City have agreed to use a portion of 285 Prideaux Street (Community Services Building) to operate an Emergency Response Centre (ERC). Scheduled to open in June, the ERC will provide approximately 35 emergency shelter spaces for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ERC will operate out of existing vacant spaces in the building and will require additional space as well. As a result, some tenants currently operating out of the Community Services Building will be relocating by June 1, 2020. Please note a few tenants have been advised that their services can continue at this location including, the 7-10 Club and Options for Sexual Health who serve the needs of the community and most vulnerable population.
As an added extra measure to help the remaining tenants during these challenging times, on Monday, April 27, 2020, Nanaimo City Council granted temporary relief from lease and rental payments to organizations that occupy City facilities which have been closed and/or severely impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This relief extends to those operating out of the Community Services Building.
An experienced operator (Island Crisis Care Society with support from other members of the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition) will oversee the 24/7 day-to-day management of the emergency response centre. Additional details will be provided as the Emergency Response Centre becomes operational.
Community members with questions regarding the Emergency Response Centre at 285 Prideaux Street can reach out to BC Housing at firstname.lastname@example.org.