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Complex care housing announced to address homelessness in Nanaimo

Those dealing with complex care issues will have another place to turn with a new housing option coming to Nanaimo.

The provincially funded space will be run by Island Health, and have room for 30 people by 2025.

The term “complex care” applies to those who are facing mental health or substance abuse issues, brain injuries, or other trauma – many of whom are often at risk of experiencing homelessness or eviction.

Mayor Leonard Krog says the ongoing street disorder can seem overwhelming sometimes, but this is the kind of response needed to improve the quality of life for all in Nanaimo.

“Smaller complex-care housing in our own community is exactly what our citizens want,” says Krog. “We have real challenges and this is an important part of the solution.”

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Clients in this space will have access to primary care and psychiatric services, as well as access to addiction medicine with overdose prevention and education.

Social workers, occupational therapists, and Indigenous knowledge keepers will be on hand as well.

This is Nanaimo’s portion of a $164 million dollar investment by the province over three years hoping to add this type of housing to around 500 BCers.

Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson says they’re hoping to break the cycle of homelessness.

“Complex-care housing is a groundbreaking approach for people with overlapping mental-health and substance-use challenges,” says Malcolmson. “This new approach to care will connect people in Nanaimo with the services they need right in their homes to help establish stability, connection and break the cycle of homelessness.”

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