VANCOUVER — Crews have wrapped up work on Álewem, two three-storey modular buildings, each with 52 units designed to help combat homelessness in Vancouver.
Each home has a private bathroom, kitchenette and storage space for belongings. The building derives its name from the Stó:lō Nation Halq’emeylem-language. “Álewem” means “to be/stay home.”
The province contributed approximately $21 million to the project through the Supportive Housing Fund as well as an annual operating subsidy of approximately $1.43 million. The City of Vancouver has provided the project land.
The project will be operated by Community Builders, a non-profit housing provider. The site will be staffed 24 hours a day. Daily meals, Indigenous cultural programming and skills building, as well as health, mental health and addictions services will be provided.
“Community Builders is honoured to have been selected to open this site and to create these 98 new homes in Vancouver,” said Julie Roberts, executive director, Community Builders in a press release. “We’re so excited to begin welcoming the people who will call Álewem their home.”
Álewem is part of the commitment between the province and the city to deliver approximately 350 new permanent supportive modular homes over the next three years. Additional sites will be announced in the coming months as proposals are confirmed.
“This project marks the first 98 homes in last September’s commitment by the province to build hundreds of new modular homes that will deliver the housing and wraparound services the thousands of residents experiencing homelessness in Vancouver need to get back on their feet,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Building homes continues to be the answer to addressing the needs of our neighbours living on our streets, and I want to thank the province for its ongoing partnership and co-investment with the City of Vancouver in modular housing as the fastest way to build homes during a homelessness crisis.”