Clubhouse International Housing

  • Posted on: 8 February 2016
  • By: adam

When visiting Alexandra Court, the 24 unit apartment complex owned by Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond, I was immediately impressed with the community atmosphere.  Pride is very evident as the building is spotless - members are very proud of their home.

The one bedroom units are accessed from outside.  There are common areas that include a beautiful lounge, kitchen, bbq area, outside patio and garden.  All of this at very affordable rents!

The building is always well maintained which means it will have a good long life.  Members thrive in this community atmosphere and the stability that comes with this goes a long way to help with their wellness.

In addition to the Pathway’s owned apartment is subsidized housing within the community.

The requirements are:

  • An identified mental illness requiring ongoing treatment and support

  • Financial qualifications

  • Strong attachment to the community

  • Ability to live independently with appropriate supports

What is provided:

  • A subsidy to financially help individuals pay their rent

  • Individualized supports, tailored to the need of the housing member

  • A Housing Worker, the point contact for concerns

  • Increased autonomy with the ability to live anywhere in the community in a subsidized rental apartment.

A permanent home is the most basic necessity.  I cannot imagine my life without my home. It is the glue that holds you together: your own bed, dinners with family and friends, a nice warm bath, a place to recover from a cold, having tea while reading a book, a place to store your belongings, safety and the list is absolutely endless!

Stop and close your eyes and try to imagine your life without your home.  Now try to imagine dealing with an illness on top of it plus coping with the stigma that goes with it. Having safe, decent and affordable housing is an extremely important element for a person’s mental wellbeing.  It is difficult for a person to manage the rest of their life without a stable home.

Statistics and research on homelessness and mental illness are not conclusive, it is clear that people with mental illness are at a greater risk of homelessness. “According to housing and support providers across BC, affordable housing is vanishing, evictions are on the rise, and waiting lists for social and supported housing continue to grow.” (Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health).

Jennifer Chambers with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health was interviewed on CBC’s “First Hand:  Hold Your Fire” and she explained that once on the street a person is quite likely to end up with mental and/or emotional issues.

Clubhouse International believes that everyone has a right to live in a decent, safe and affordable home.  That is why they are committed to helping members find housing.  Rental subsidies and a diverse array of housing supports are provided to meet the varying needs of members.  Clubhouse helps members re-acquire living skills, whether it is budgeting, shopping, cooking or cleaning.  Clubhouse helps where there is need.

The Clubhouse works in partnership with other housing associations, offering a continuum of housing support services to provide high quality of care.  If there is none available – or a shortage, Clubhouse seeks funding and creates it’s own housing program (that includes all the supports listed above).

Housing is a hot topic here in Victoria and has been for quite a long time.  Let’s provide for people, with a mental illness, the basics in life so that their life can turn into success. The time is now – 2016 – to try a new approach in the Greater Victoria Area.  Remember this is not a new program.  It has been around since 1948 – with proven outcomes.

Anything is possible!