The Bosman Hotel houses more than 100 residents with mental health and addiction issues, but faces an uncertain future. Photo by Justin Langille.
Safe and stable housing hangs in the balance for at least 100 Vancouverites with the looming closure of the Bosman Hotel Community.
A joint project between the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and PHS Community Services Society, the Bosman Hotel is a key part of the MHCC’s At Home / Chez Soi experiment to study the link between mental illness and homelessness.
The project has provided over 300 people with mental health or addictions issues access to housing, health and social support services since 2009. One hundred of those participants were also given a place to live in the Bosman.
But the project is ending in 2013, putting the tenants’ future in doubt.
Liz Evans, executive director of the PHS Community Services Society, is working with MHCC, different levels of government and other homeless advocacy organizations to protract the housing beyond next year.
“We are hoping to extend the lease. The owner of the building is willing to do that. This would give us time to work on developing a plan to find decent permanent replacement housing, ideally purpose built and near the existing project,” Evans wrote in an email to Megaphone.
Although she didn't provide Megaphone with numbers, Evans says stable housing at the Bosman has decreased tenant trips to the emergency room and involvement with the courts.