The B.C. government has announced the purchase of the North Shore Inn in Nelson to provide 30 homes with supports for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The province, through BC Housing, is providing $3.9 million to buy and renovate the former motel.

BC Housing will also fund an annual operating subsidy of approximately $1 million.

Residents finding refuge from homelessness at Polson Park Motel no longer have to worry.

The B.C. government has purchased the Vernon motel to provide permanent homes for people experiencing homelessness.

The old motel on 24th Avenue is a two-storey building with 29 units, each fitted with a washroom and kitchenette. BC Housing has been leasing the motel as temporary housing for the community’s most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic since April 2020. Now, those currently living in the motel will be able to stay there.

Alternatives North says hourly wages needed to live in the Northwest Territories have decreased slightly since 2019 but are still well above the territory’s minimum wage.

The non-profit released its living wage report for 2022 on Wednesday, which calculates the minimum hourly wage workers need to be paid for a decent standard of living in larger NWT communities.

According to the latest report, the living wage for a parent in a family of four is estimated at $23.28 an hour in Yellowknife, $21.32 in Hay River, $22.59 in Inuvik, and $17.81 in Fort Smith.

People have been living rough in the woods of Stanley Park for decades. This continued long after Indigenous residents were evicted from their traditional territory at Brockton Point in 1931.

But in recent years, homeless camps have popped up in other areas of the city under the park board's jurisdiction, including Oppenheimer, CRAB, and Strathcona parks.

Today, the park board announced the appointment of a person who has expertise to address this issue. Betty Lepps is the new director of urban relationships.

As the deadline for Ontario’s budget approaches on April 30, the time is now to explore policy solutions that can address gaps in our social assistance network and reduce dependence on food banks. These actions will help build a healthier province, with better access to financial support, housing and employment — and it starts with a better budget.

A new report looking at Ontario data across a six-year period has found that the factors that drive up food bank visits the most are increases in rent and changes to disability benefits, helping to outline how concrete policy changes could help those living on the edge.

A Wednesday press release explained that when researchers’ findings are extrapolated to the future, there would be an additional 73,776 more visits every year to food banks in Toronto if rent went up by just $30 per month.

A $1 increase in minimum wage could cut 37,000 food bank visits annually in Toronto, and providing $15 more per month to those in the Ontario Disability Support Program would be associated with 54,000 fewer food bank visits annually in Toronto and 273,000 fewer across Ontario as a whole, the release stated.

Homelessness is a prevalent issue in Canada: approximately 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness any given year, and an additional 450,000 to 900,000 people experience ‘hidden homelessness.’ Hidden homelessness refers to people who experience homelessness but can find temporary accommodations by living with friends or family.

A 2014 study reported that eight per cent of all Canadians had experienced hidden homelessness in their lifetime. The study also found that Indigenous peoples in Canada are twice as likely to experience hidden homelessness compared to non-Indigenous populations, and 13 per cent of Canadians with disabilities have experienced hidden homelessness. Hidden homelessness affects an unimaginable number of Canadians, and it impacts marginalized groups even more acutely.