Let's Talk Supportive Housing in Parksville


Orca Place at 222 Corfield Street South

Orca Place, 52 new homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness in the Oceanside region, will be opening soon at 222 Corfield Street South. Island Crisis Care Society (ICCS) will be managing the new housing. Staff will be on site 24/7 providing support to the new residents. ICCS is also establishing a community advisory committee to help integrate the building into the neighbourhood. BC Housing owns the building and will fund operations.

Recently, the City of Parksville purchased the land from the Regional District of Nanaimo, and subsequently, a cold-weather shelter will no


Orca Place at 222 Corfield Street South

Orca Place, 52 new homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness in the Oceanside region, will be opening soon at 222 Corfield Street South. Island Crisis Care Society (ICCS) will be managing the new housing. Staff will be on site 24/7 providing support to the new residents. ICCS is also establishing a community advisory committee to help integrate the building into the neighbourhood. BC Housing owns the building and will fund operations.

Recently, the City of Parksville purchased the land from the Regional District of Nanaimo, and subsequently, a cold-weather shelter will no longer be operating in the building. BC Housing is working with the City to determine a new location for a shelter in Parksville.

Over the past few months, ICCS and BC Housing have been working with local service providers selecting residents for Orca Place. Each applicant goes through a thoughtful and thorough assessment process to ensure that an appropriate mix of residents with the right supports live at Orca Place.

Each successful applicant is a person over the age of 19, who is homeless or at risk, and currently lives in the community.

Housing with Supports

People who apply to live at Orca Place will need to meet eligibility requirements and will be assessed to ensure that their needs can be met through on-site and off-site support. All residents will pay rent and sign a program agreement. Oceanside residents will be given priority.

There are a variety of support services planned. Each resident may require different support. All residents will receive individualized case planning to further develop life and social skills such as employment planning and managing the transition to independence and recovery. Programming space will be available to facilitate training and food preparation. Other services will include outreach workers, wellness checks, and connection and referral to community services and support groups.

Small Group Information Sessions

BC Housing will be holding small group information sessions to introduce community members to ICCS staff, to learn more about the community advisory committee, and to answer any outstanding questions around operations. This will be a forward-focused, facilitated dialogue. Please view our Key Dates section for registration details.


We welcome your questions about this project. All questions will be responded to within 24-48 hours during BC Housing business hours, Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Important note: To protect your own privacy, please do not include any identifying information such as your name or address.

Please submit your question below:

  • I am very concerned for the residents safety because of poor behaviour displayed by some community members....will there be added safety and security for the first 6 months to one year after opening?

    ez2bkaren asked 3 days ago

    Thank you for your concern. The most important security feature at Orca Place, both for residents and the community, is 24-7 staffing. The building will have staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that residents are supported and that any concerns are addressed in a timely manner. Security features will include lighting, fencing, fob entry system for guests only with one secured staffed entrance, and a contained outdoor amenity space for smoking/dog walking.


  • Will "the rules and regulations for the Program Accommodation and the Building delivered with this Agreement" be made available here?

    PVConcerns asked 3 days ago

    The Orca Place Program Agreement is available in the Document Library on this page for your reference.

  • Why was the cold weather shelter denied by the city?

    Biffy13 asked 5 days ago

    BC Housing understands that the City of Parksville received community concerns around the shelter space and has given back the Regional District of Nanaimo grant, releasing the project from the condition of providing shelter space. Any further information can be provided by the City.

    There is a need for a winter shelter in the community, as the current temporary shelter is consistently at capacity while in operation. BC Housing, the City of Parksville, and community partners are currently working on a plan to secure winter shelter space.

  • In the supportive housing model, what is the expected turnover of residents at Orca Place? How many spaces do you anticipate opening up over the next two years for those who applied, but didn't get in?

    SPeter asked 5 days ago

    It is hard to predict the turnover rate of residents. It's really based on the individual and what their needs are. This is permanent supportive housing, so many people will reside at Orca Place permanently and live out their lives in the neighbourhood. Others may decide to move into more independent housing; we can provide support for those making this choice with assisting them in the transition process in viewing potential apartments and liaise with landlords on their behalf.

     
    As BC Housing and Island Crisis Care Society were selecting residents, we did recognize that some people will likely move into market housing after a period of stability and support, while others may need the supports permanently – so basically, space will become available for new residents over the next few years but we cannot provide any specific number.

    Orca Place will provide 52 homes with supports for the community, which is a great step towards meeting a need in the community, but more affordable housing is needed. 


  • Now that the cold weather shelter has been denied by the City, what will happen to the spaces that were meant for the shelter? Could another community group come alongside and "rent" the space? Or could they be turned into learning spaces, like a computer lab or an arts & crafts room? Will there be space and opportunity down the road to do a garden program for the residents?

    AmandaTheWagner asked 11 days ago

    There is an opportunity to re-purpose the space at Orca Place that was intended for the cold weather shelter. Currently, there is no plan in place but BC Housing and Island Crisis Care Society are open to discussing possibilities. There is outdoor amenity space at Orca Place that could be used for gardening. Any future use would be discussed with the City of Parksville and would need to meet zoning requirements. We look forward to working together on integrating Orca Place into the community.

  • Will drug use be allowed in the Orca property?

    Russell asked 12 days ago

    Yes - residents of supportive housing live independently and make their own choices regarding life style and will have direct access to the support services they need. We do not discriminate against a person based on their level of need. Housing applicants are assessed to ensure they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and life a more healthy, stable life. All Orca Place residents will sign agreements in regards appropriate and respectful behavior. Substance use and mental health challenges will be addressed through onsite and community supports.

  • Is this a “wet house”. And if so what percentage of tenants are addicts?

    Homeless asked 13 days ago

    Supportive housing follows an evidence based and internationally demonstrated Housing First model, which aims to end chronic homelessness by first providing stable housing, and then working with the resident to promote recovery and well-being. Supportive housing works to lessen the impact issues have by providing a safe environment where medical intervention is readily available. Building staff and partners like Island Health provide ongoing guidance, encouragement and support to people living in supportive housing. Learn more about Housing First: www.homelesshub.ca/solutions/housing-accommodation-and-supports/housing-first 

    We do not discriminate against a person based on their level of need. Housing applicants are assessed to ensure they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and life a more healthy, stable life. Residents of supportive housing live independently and make their own choices regarding life style and will have direct access to the support services they need. All Orca Place residents will sign agreements in regards appropriate and respectful behavior. Substance use and mental health challenges will be addressed through onsite and community supports.

    Due to privacy considerations, we do not release background information about residents. 

  • I have just watched the May 7, 2018 council meeting, at which Craig Crawford of BC Housing said there was no reason that the Program Agreement that tenants of Orca Place will need to sign should not be made public. Can I get a copy of this agreement or can you post it on the ICCS website?

    annrober asked 14 days ago

    We are posting the Orca Place Program Agreement to the Document Library on this page for your reference. 

  • I would like to know what the settlement was in the lawsuit....was it only the purchase of the property, or was that separate?

    ez2bkaren asked 15 days ago

    This lawsuit has now been settled outside of court, and we can’t disclose the terms of an out of court settlement.

    The City of Parksville now owns the land, which is leased to BC Housing. Island Crisis Care Society has an operating agreement with BC Housing to manage the housing. The City of Parksville will join the Community Advisory Committee, along with Island Health, RCMP, local business and community members.

  • I tried to submit but you have to sign in giving your identifying info so that makes no sense. my questions are; can residents have a car?, what furniture/items are provided in the rooms?, and how much is rent or how is it calculated for the residents?

    Caz asked 18 days ago

    Orca Place residents will pay $375 per month in rent or 30% of their income. Each studio unit comes fully furnished, including a bed, desk and kitchen utensils. A limited number of parking spots will be available for resident vehicles. 

  • This government is a disgrace. Forcing communities to accept low barrier, wet housing at the expense of our communities. These models do not work. MAKE THESE PROJECTS HIGH BARRIER/ DRY HOUSING like we are all screaming for you to do. Start listening to us!

    Jan asked 23 days ago

    Supportive housing follows an evidence based and internationally demonstrated Housing First model, which aims to end chronic homelessness by first providing stable housing, and then working with the resident to promote recovery and well-being. Supportive housing works to lessen the impact issues have by providing a safe environment where medical intervention is readily available. Building staff and partners like Island Health provide ongoing guidance, encouragement and support to people living in supportive housing. Learn more about Housing First:
    www.homelesshub.ca/solutions/housing-accommodation-and-supports/housing-first

    We do not discriminate against a person based on their level of need. Housing applicants are assessed to ensure they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and life a more healthy, stable life. Residents of supportive housing live independently and make their own choices regarding life style and will have direct access to the support services they need. All Orca Place residents will sign agreements in regards appropriate and respectful behavior. Substance use and mental health challenges will be addressed through onsite and community supports.

    Currently, people with substance misuse and mental health issues are living on our streets, in our parks and in our neighbourhoods.  Our goal is to provide people without housing with a home, and to support them in their journey to a healthier life. Otherwise they will remain on the street with deteriorating health.