Once Port Alberni Shelter Society starts moving people into the new shelter and supportive housing at Our Home on 8th, the old shelter across from John Paul II School will close.
And while it won’t be used as a shelter anymore, society executive director Wes Hewitt hopes it will one day be put to good use again.
“The other building will be empty for a period of time,” Hewitt said. “We will have a caretaker in it so that it’s not going to be vandalized.”
The shelter society made a commitment when they proposed the new building to the neighbourhood “that it would never be used as a shelter or anything ever again,” he added.
It could be used for a different type of housing, though. “We’ve got a proposal in and tentative approval to move ahead with 21 units of seniors’ housing,” Hewitt said.
If the proposal is approved, the old shelter will be torn down and an apartment-style building will be erected in its stead. Hewitt said he is expecting to hear whether his proposal has been accepted “fairly soon.”
The new shelter building was supposed to receive occupancy approval last week.