B.C. buys former Vancouver Island restaurant for homeless shelter

The B.C. government is converting the former Rose Bowl Restaurant in Campbell River into a temporary bridge housing location: (Google Maps)

The B.C. government has purchased a mid-island property to use as a temporary homeless shelter amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, the provincial government announced that it had bought the former Rose Bowl Restaurant in Campbell River to use as bridge housing for the local community.

Bridge housing is a temporary housing service that officers beds, showers, meals and other support services for people until they are able to find permanent supportive housing.

At the former Rose Bowl Restaurant, 20 beds will be available as well as outreach services provided by the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society, who will staff the site 24 hours a day. The outreach staff will also be able to provide connections or referrals to other health services.

“This project will provide people in our community with a safe place to sleep while we work with our partners to build the permanent homes they deserve,” said Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island in a statement Tuesday.

“We know our community is safer and healthier when everyone has a place to call home, with supports and services to help them succeed, and we are working closely with the city to build new permanent supportive housing as fast as possible.”

While no location for a supportive housing development has been determined yet, the B.C. government says that it is working with the City of Campbell River to find an adequate space. The provincial government says that further details will be announced once plans are more concrete.

Once a supportive housing site is built, the B.C. government will redevelop the former Rose Bowl Restaurant, in consultation with the community.

Campbell River’s new temporary shelter is expected to open in August. The B.C. government purchased the property, located at 1221 Cedar St., for approximately $985,000.

In May, the province announced that it had purchased a motel in Campbell River to use as temporary housing for tenants of an apartment complex that was heavily damaged in a fire in April.