Campbell River - 580 Dogwood Supportive Housing

BC Housing, the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (VIMHS) and the City of Campbell River are partnering on a project to build 50 new homes with support services for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. BC Housing will lease a portion of the City-owned land at 580 Dogwood Street and VIMHS will manage the property and provide coordinated support services.

Given the immediate need for supportive housing, this project will be built with modular construction. This type of construction enables crews to prepare the site and pour the foundation at the same time the modulars are being constructed off-site in a factory. The design of this apartment style supportive housing project was influenced and informed by the Campbell River Urban Indigenous Housing Group. Construction is expected to start by early Fall 2020.

The development will house people in the recently announced temporary bridge to housing at the Rose Bowl Restaurant that will be opening this summer. Vancouver Island Mental Health Society will operate both the bridge to housing and the new supportive housing building, so strong relationships will already have been established with residents by the time they are transferred over to the new supportive housing building.

Society staff will be onsite 24/7 and will be providing support services such as daily living skills training, budgeting, nutrition management, meal preparation, medication management, house cleaning and other skills.

Community Engagement

We are reaching out to the community to ensure the public is informed throughout the process and to provide opportunities for community engagement and feedback. We want to work with Campbell River residents to create vibrant, welcoming neighbourhoods.

We will be hosting information sessions with panelists representing BC Housing, the City, VIMHS and Island Health. The sessions will be an opportunity to learn more about the proposal and to ask questions and provide input. You can also send feedback and design input to communityrelations@bchousing.org or use the Q&A tool below to submit questions. We welcome your feedback and it will be shared with the project team and partners to inform project planning.

BC Housing, the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (VIMHS) and the City of Campbell River are partnering on a project to build 50 new homes with support services for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. BC Housing will lease a portion of the City-owned land at 580 Dogwood Street and VIMHS will manage the property and provide coordinated support services.

Given the immediate need for supportive housing, this project will be built with modular construction. This type of construction enables crews to prepare the site and pour the foundation at the same time the modulars are being constructed off-site in a factory. The design of this apartment style supportive housing project was influenced and informed by the Campbell River Urban Indigenous Housing Group. Construction is expected to start by early Fall 2020.

The development will house people in the recently announced temporary bridge to housing at the Rose Bowl Restaurant that will be opening this summer. Vancouver Island Mental Health Society will operate both the bridge to housing and the new supportive housing building, so strong relationships will already have been established with residents by the time they are transferred over to the new supportive housing building.

Society staff will be onsite 24/7 and will be providing support services such as daily living skills training, budgeting, nutrition management, meal preparation, medication management, house cleaning and other skills.

Community Engagement

We are reaching out to the community to ensure the public is informed throughout the process and to provide opportunities for community engagement and feedback. We want to work with Campbell River residents to create vibrant, welcoming neighbourhoods.

We will be hosting information sessions with panelists representing BC Housing, the City, VIMHS and Island Health. The sessions will be an opportunity to learn more about the proposal and to ask questions and provide input. You can also send feedback and design input to communityrelations@bchousing.org or use the Q&A tool below to submit questions. We welcome your feedback and it will be shared with the project team and partners to inform project planning.

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  • Why is this being built by 4 schools? We know needle use will go up. Why are you risking exposing children to the risk of needlestick injuries?

    B C Asked 6 days ago

    Supportive housing is for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness with varying health and personal challenges and needs. People experiencing homelessness are not a homogenous group, and have had different pathways into homelessness. That’s why supportive housing tailors its response to clients, to help them maintain their housing and work on healing. They may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

    The Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (VIMHS) would be responsible for property and operations management, including 24/7 on-site staff. VIMHS is a Vancouver Island based organization dedicated to providing accessible services and opportunities to people who are experiencing mental health, addiction, and cognitive challenges. They provide programs that promote recovery, social inclusion, safe housing, and public education. 

    Many supportive housing sites for people experiencing homelessness across the province have been operating in their communities and near schools for 10+ years with no issues and with support from the community. There are over 210 provincially-funded supportive housing sites across the province that are within 500 metres of a school, and 52% of provincially-funded supportive housing sites in B.C. within 500 metres of schools have been operating for 10+ years.


  • Why are you not directly consulting with neighborhoods? There has been no engagement until now. It feels like you are pushing an agenda we don't want. Why are you taking this approach? Surely we will petition it?

    B C Asked 6 days ago

    We want to work with Campbell River residents to create welcoming, safe neighbourhoods. 

    We are reaching out to the community to provide more information and collect input as part of this process. We will be holding online information sessions with panelists representing BC Housing, the City and VIMHS. These online sessions will be an opportunity to learn more about the proposal and to ask questions and provide input. 

    The project itself will undergo a development permit review process for site layout and servicing considerations, design, form and character and landscaping. This will inform the submission for the required building permit.

  • How will you respond we send the Mayor the petition that the long term homeowners(some 25-40 years in this neighborhood) show that we do not want this in our neighborhood?

    B C Asked 6 days ago

    We encourage members of the community to participate in one of the upcoming information sessions to learn more about the proposed supportive housing and have their questions answered. The dates and times for the upcoming sessions will be shared on this website soon, and we would be happy to invite you once the schedule is confirmed.

    BC Housing’s goal is to provide programs and services that break the cycle of homelessness. We are committed to providing housing solutions that benefit the community. Many supportive housing sites for people experiencing homelessness across the province have been operating in their communities and near schools for 10+ years with no issues and with support from the community.

  • This was purchased to safely relocate the existing fire dept- why has this changed- Is the property zoned properly?

    Maureen Hunter Asked 6 days ago

    The City purchased the property originally as a potential alternate location for a Fire Hall. The site is 3 acres in size and 1 acre is being used for supportive housing. The remaining 2 acres still offer various development opportunities.  

    The property is zoned Public Areas 1 (PA-1) which includes various institutional type uses including a Social Care Facility. This development does not require rezoning. The site will undergo a development permit review process for site layout and servicing considerations, design, form and character and landscaping. 

  • As Gord mentioned there are 4 schools in the area- ask SD 72 how much of a problem the affordable housing on 4th avenue can and has been for the school. We are a family residential area that is flooded with apartment buildings how much density is too much!! There is lots of areas in the downtown /Campbellton area that are close to amities and suitable for this project. What about the large section of land that was being cleared for a designated camp ground. This is being rushed and pushed through with out proper community input.

    Maureen Hunter Asked 6 days ago

    Hello Maureen, 

    We understand your concerns regarding additional density in this area. Density is one of the factors that is reviewed as part of the development process. Supportive housing locations are determined based on services, amenities and availability of property. Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they are, providing connection to the resources that people need to work towards living a healthy, stable life. Access to community services and transit is key for people without homes, but so is feeling part of a neighbourhood. 

    The 580 Dogwood site was deemed the most appropriate location for this development because of site servicing and access considerations, access to transit and amenities and it was owned by the City. The Homewood Road property was considered in the property search for the project but for various reasons it was deemed inappropriate including challenging ground to work for this type of development, and flooding considerations.

  • Why are residents allowed/supported/encouraged to continue to use a substance whether it be alcohol or drug use in "the privacy of their homes, just like any other neighbor" when this is housing for people experiencing mental health and addiction challenges? Shouldn't they be helped to fight their addiction, which should be a question when residents are selected for this is Supportive housing? When did drug use become legal?

    kschnei Asked 5 days ago

    This housing is for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour, and they do not all suffer from mental health and substance use challenges. That being said, BC Housing does not exclude someone from housing opportunities if they live with a substance misuse issue. Building staff and partners like Island Health provide ongoing guidance, encouragement and support to individuals living in supportive housing. 

    In order to help people who may be in various stages of substance misuse, we need to first give them a safe and secure place to sleep, food to eat, and access to services so that they can move forward with their lives. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards a healthier future. A harm reduction approach means staff are available to support any residents who are in various phases of substance use, to prevent overdose deaths. When residents are ready to make a change, staff on site would connect them with the appropriate support services. 


  • What will happen to the large tower that is located near the location and who is paying if it has to be changes or it has to be moved

    Maureen Hunter Asked 6 days ago

    The tower is owned and maintained by Telus and is on a separate property from the proposed development. Guy wires anchoring the tower go on to the City-owned lot but do not impact the development of supportive housing. There are no known changes planned for the tower at this time.

  • My concern is the proximity to 4 public schools. The children will walk past this site twice a day, 5 days a week, with some other older students walk home, many times after dark in winter, after staying for sports practices. 'Many' supportive housing' sites have been operating successfully, but many HAVE NOT. Altho' this site is IN a residential area and has access to transit, there aren't really any other amenities that those residents would access except perhaps the 7-11 up the street. A site down on Ironwood(former Paramount, now up for sale), ACROSS the street from residential neighbourhoods, transit, methadone clinic, grocery shopping, social services, Service BC, etc. would seem more appropriate. I am thinking if the City of CR can spend a boatload of $ on a roundabout (which wasn't really necessary, except its going to be pretty), they can afford to buy that particular property, with a look ahead to expanding the footprint of said supportive housing as needs rise. We all know the homeless situation is NOT getting any smaller, and the current site at 580 Dogwood would certainly be outgrown in the next 5 years or less.

    Nicki M. Asked 7 days ago

    Thank you for your suggestion of an alternate property. BC Housing and the City of Campbell River collaborated on the selection of this site. The 580 Dogwood site was deemed the most appropriate for location for this development because of site servicing and access considerations, access to transit, services and amenities, and the site was owned by the City of Campbell River. 

    Supportive housing locations are determined based on services, amenities and availability of property. Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they are, providing connection to the resources that people need to work towards living a healthy, stable life. Access to community services and transit is key for people without homes, but so is feeling part of a neighbourhood. With a remote site, there is no access to services, no regular transit access, and no integration with the community, which is essential for people who are working towards a healthy, stable life. 

    Many supportive housing sites for people experiencing homelessness across the province have been operating in their communities and near schools for 10+ years with no issues and with support from the community. There are over 210 provincially-funded supportive housing sites across the province that are within 500 metres of a school, and 52% of provincially-funded supportive housing sites in B.C. within 500 metres of schools have been operating for 10+ years.

  • You approve of drug and alcohol use within the housing units, and you ensure to make sure your tenants use safely. What are you concerns with the surrounding communities safety? There are many of us here with children and two schools nearby. Do you have anything in place to ensure the safety of the people who live in the surround areas as well? Or are your concerns only with your tenants? How will his housing unit directly effect the safety of the neighborhood?

    wwww Asked 10 days ago

    BC Housing, the City of Campbell River, and the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (VIMHS) are working together to provide urgently-needed housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. BC Housing’s goal is to provide programs and services that break the cycle of homelessness. We are committed to providing housing solutions that benefit the community. 

    The safety of residents, staff and the surrounding community is a priority and BC Housing and VIMHS are committed to being good neighbours. The most important security feature, both for residents and the community, is staffing. The building would have staff onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that residents are supported and that any concerns are addressed in the timely manner. 

    Residents would sign a Program Agreement and be expected to abide by it. The Program Agreement would address expectations about appropriate and respectful behavior especially as it relates to the health and safety of themselves and others. Staff would work with residents and the neighbours to foster good neighbourhood relations.  

    A BC Housing 2019 study (Modular Supportive Housing Resident Outcomes Study: Results for First Seven Modular Supportive Housing Developments) reported that 82% of survey respondents across seven modular supportive housing sites reported experiencing positive interactions with neighbours in the surrounding community since they moved in.

    A Community Advisory Committee would be created to support the successful integration of the building into the neighbourhood and community, with representation from BC Housing, Island Health, municipalities, RCMP, BIA/Chamber, any relevant community partners such as school district, service providers and community members at large, to be facilitated by a neutral third party.


  • Will licensed psychiatrists and psychologists be overseeing the care of residents? Specifically, providing diagnoses and follow-up care? A huge part of the problem that many people who have mental health issues is having access to these specialized healthcare professionals. Even people who have extended benefits through their employer have this option for a limited amount of time - it typically is an out of pocket expense. Having the proper diagnosis and the availability of long term care from psychiatric professionals is fundamental in the success of any supportive living situation or of being able to help some individuals re-integrate into an independent living arrangement. Many people struggling with mental illness do not have substance abuse issues. They can be quite vulnerable to being manipulated and taken advantage of by people who do have addictions. What will be done to protect them from the potential of abuse and theft? I am not a fan of housing people who have two very distinctive issues together. Yes, many people who have mental illness have turned to substances as a way of self-medicating, but many addicts do not have mental illness and have developed behaviours that may put more vulnerable residents at risk. What is being done to mitigate this risk?

    Patricia Coombs Asked 8 days ago

    BC Housing and Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (VIMHS) would collaborate with local service providers on a thoughtful and thorough assessment process to ensure an appropriate mix of residents with the right supports live in the housing. Every potential resident would be considered on an individual basis to ensure that the housing and services provided by the program match the support services that they need, such as life skills training, employment assistance, and help with accessing a range of social and health care services. 

    All residents in supportive housing receive individualized case planning to further develop life and social skills such as employment planning and managing the transition to independence and recovery, as well as programming space to facilitate training and food preparation. Other services include outreach workers, connection and referral to community services and support groups. The supports provided to each resident are varied and will be personalized to meet their needs. 

    Local health authorities will continue to provide a range of inpatient and outpatient services to the community such as chronic disease management, mental health and substance use, and home and community care.

    VIMHS is a Vancouver Island based organization dedicated to providing accessible services and opportunities to people who are experiencing mental health, addiction, and cognitive challenges. They provide programs that promote recovery, social inclusion, safe housing, and public education. They have 45 years of experience in providing services and supports to people experiencing homelessness in the region.