CMHA 'committed' to making supportive housing work in Rutland

Heath house supportive housing

Staff at Kelowna's Heath House are trying to address safety concerns in their neighbourhood.

Since opening earlier this year, neighbouring residents and businesses have reported an uptick in property crime and vandalism.

The supportive housing facility is run by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), which is working with the city and local businesses to improve night-time security in the area.

"We're there. We're listening" said spokesperson Jessica Samuels. "We're addressing those concerns and doing what we can to ensure the safety of everyone involved."

The CMHA has agreed to help pay for late-night security at the Day's Inn nearby. BC Housing is also funding evening patrols of the larger neighbourhood.

"We've made amendments to the tenant program agreement which specifically sets out clear guidelines associated with bikes and guests at Heath House."

"Anyone who has not been able to agree or adhere to our tenant program agreement, we have moved along"

According to Samuels, the CMHA has been operating supportive housing facilities in the community for more than two decades. In her experience, it is not unusual for new facilities to go through a 'settling-in' phase.

She's hopeful that demonstrating the organization's commitment to the community will ease anxieties about another supportive housing facility planned for McCurdy Road in Rutland.