The province, through BC Housing, has purchased the former Red Lion Inn and Suites in Abbotsford to provide temporary shelter space for people experiencing homelessness as part of a permanent supportive-housing plan.
The announcement, made Thursday (June 3), indicates that the former hotel – located at 2509 Pauline St. – will provide 30 spaces for people currently staying at the Bakerview Church shelter, which is closing on June 30, when the lease expires.
The hotel was previously the site of Yuk Yuk’s comedy club.
The province is also purchasing the hotel’s adjacent lots at 2481 and 2489 Pauline St.
Over the long term, BC Housing will apply for rezoning to redevelop the hotel and the lots into a permanent supportive housing building with an adjoined shelter, a press release states.
In the meantime, the City of Abbotsford is allowing operation of 2509 Pauline St. as a temporary shelter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new shelter will be operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society, which also operates the 40-bed Riverside Shelter on Riverside Road in Abbotsford.
The society will provide residents with support services that include daily meals, life-skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental-health resources, and access to addiction treatment and recovery services.
At least two staff members will be on site 24/7 to provide around-the-clock support to residents, the press release states.
The society will set up a community advisory committee to oversee the shelter’s integration within the community and to address any questions raised by people in the neighbourhood.
Residents will finish moving into the temporary shelter by the end of June.
Visit letstalkhousingbc.ca/abbotsford-pauline for more information or to provide feedback.