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Duncan’s Village in the Spotlight at UBCM

The Village in Duncan, along with a similar tiny homes project in Victoria, is attracting the attention other BC communities looking for ways to help people who are unhoused.

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples discussed the concept at a panel discussion on homelessness and substance abuse earlier this week at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Whistler.

The panel included Victoria’s Lisa Helps and Sharie Minions, the mayor of Port Alberni, which is creating it’s own tiny homes project using the Duncan model as a blueprint.

Shelly Cook of the Cowichan Housing Association says other municipalities now see the projects as an effective short term solution.

She says it would allow them to respond more quickly in providing places to live and then helping them take steps to improve their lives.

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Cook says other communities have been taking a deeper look at exactly what’s being done at the Village in Duncan and believes “people are recognizing that it has proven itself to be a really successful model.”

She says there have been issues, but they have worked through those issues and there are positive outcomes.

Cook says in addition to sharing information about the project, they’ve been providing tours of the Village to show what it actually looks like and how it provide the support services those living there may need.

The residents are receiving meals, mental health and addictions support, and assistance in the area of employment, all of which contribute to creating positive outcomes.

Duncan’s 34-unit village opened in January of this year and it’s temporary use permit for the site on Trunk Road was recently extended by council until May of next year.

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