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September 8, 2022, 8:48 am

Snuneymuxw and City Partnership Provides Housing and Supports

City of Nanaimo
NANAIMO - The City of Nanaimo and Snuneymuxw First Nation are pleased to announce a partnership project that is providing 12 temporary housing units along with culturally appropriate health and wellness supports for Snuneymuxw mulstimuxw (community members) experiencing homelessness. The first of three portable fourplex buildings has been delivered to Snuneymuxw First Nation property in Cedar and will be ready for occupancy in September 2022. The remaining two fourplex buildings, with eight housing units, are anticipated to be completed in early 2023. Each housing unit has a studio style bedroom with a mini kitchen and separate, personal shower and washroom. Three of the housing units (one in each fourplex) are designed to be fully accessible to those with physical disabilities.

The project is funded under the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program, a shared Federal and Provincial government grant program to support programs and services for people experiencing homelessness as well as addressing related community impacts. In 2021, the City of Nanaimo successfully applied for and received a grant of $2.5 million. The grant funds are being used for a range of services and programs related to addressing homelessness and impacts, including providing 12 housing units, programs and supports for unsheltered Snuneymuxw community members. In addition to the grant funding for this project, the City and Snuneymuxw First Nation are cost-sharing servicing costs for the units as these costs are not allowed under the grant eligibility criteria.

"Canada’s application of colonial housing policies and legislation onto Snuneymuxw People have created inherent socio-economic disadvantages causing inequitable access to housing. More than just a roof over heads, the 12 new temporary housing units are a part of a larger network of Snuneymuxw-operated housing and services. We celebrate the opening of these 12 temporary housing units and the collaborative effort between Snuneymuxw First Nation, the City of Nanaimo and the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program."
 - Sqwulutsultun William (Bill) Yoachim, Acting Chief

Snuneymuxw First Nation "Canada’s relations with Indigenous communities has left many First Nation, M├ętis and Inuit peoples disproportionately challenged in accessing suitable affordable housing, employment, and health and wellness services. The City is pleased that this important partnership supports Snuneymuxw First Nation priorities including self-determination and self-government. These self-contained units will provide unhoused Snuneymuxw members with an opportunity to be housed with dignity, and to receive cultural and wellness supports from Snuneymuxw’s effective homeless outreach team."
 - Leonard Krog, Mayor, City of Nanaimo
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