Langley’s future supportive housing project has a new name and is busy preparing to open 49 units to house the homeless this spring.
“The official name is Creek Stone Place,” said Janet Burden, executive director of the Stepping Stone Community Services Society.
The project was approved unanimously by Langley Township council late last year, over the objections of some neighbouring residents.
When renovations of the former hotel are finished later this spring, it will provide housing for Langley residents who are currently sleeping on shelter cots or on the streets.
Potential residents are filling out applications now, some with the help of local social service agencies, Burden said.
The supportive housing model is for people who need help transitioning from life on the streets, and aims to give the future residents access to a number of resources, including access to drug and alcohol treatment.
READ MORE: Supportive housing approved for Langley
The fact that residents won’t have to be drug-free to move in drew criticism from some nearby residents.
But those concerns were outweighed by the need to house some of the approximately 200 homeless people living in Langley right now, councillors said at last December’s vote.
The next step is to create a short list of possible residents for interviews, Burden said.
Some people won’t qualify, because they might need too much support for the facility to provide. Others are effectively too stable – they can live on their own in more ordinary housing units.
All the residents will be from Langley, vetted by local outreach workers who have known them, in some cases for years.
“We pretty well know the people in Langley that we’re serving,” said Burden.
A Community Advisory Committee has already been assembled, and held its first meeting on March 5, Burden said.
The group includes representatives from the neighbourhood, area businesses, the RCMP, the Township, Fraser Health, and various community partners such as the Gateway of Hope, local churches, and Langley Community Services Society.
No official opening date has been set, as it will depend on the pace of renovations, but organizers are still hoping the BC Housing-funded project can be open this spring, Burden said.
There will be a two-week move in period during which the new residents move into their new homes.