One of Shawn Kuin’s favourite parts of his new apartment is the view, where he can see the leaves on outside trees turn to their autumn colours. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria’s Cool Aid Society opens 15 more affordable units for seniors

Seventy-Eight supportive housing units already at Mount Edward Court

Shawn Kuin loves the view he has from his new third-floor apartment. It looks out onto a tree-lined road, caked with freshly dropped autumn leaves. It’s his favourite part, he said. That, and the freedom of having his own space.

In mid-October the Victoria Cool Aid Society opened up 15 new affordable rental apartments for seniors at its Mount Edwards Court property at 1002 Vancouver St. This is in addition to the 78 supportive housing units on the first and second floors of the building.

Kuin moved into the 3o0-square-foot unit only two weeks ago after living downstairs for two years.

Before that, Kuin was hit with some rough times.

“I had the rug pulled out from under me,” he said. “For six months I ended up going to the shelters, sleeping on mats.”

ALSO READ: Cool Aid Society saves affordable apartment from uncertain future

It was in the shelters that he applied for housing with Cool Aid, which opened the first two floors of the Mount Edward property in 2016 to seniors with low-acuity needs.

In the supportive units, medication could be provided, as well as basic health needs. Meals were prepared and social services were also on hand to help with services such as resume writing.

By mid-October Cool Aid finished renovating the third floor of the building, and opened it up to low-income seniors who could live more independently.

Kuin was offered a spot, which he took with delight.

ALSO READ: Victoria Cool Aid Society see busiest year yet

“The ability to determine my own use of time is greatly appreciated,” he said. “And, I can get much more sleep.”

The only two requirements for the residents of the third floor are that they are over 55 years of age, and make a maximum of $34,500 for a studio suite or $39,800 for a one-bedroom suite. Rent is $700 for the studios and $800 to $950 for the one-bedroom units.

Kuin’s studio space is snug, but is enough for him and offers him his own kitchen, though he adds he needs to better learn how to cook.

He has some important plans for the space, however.

“I’m thinking instead of a bedroom unit I’d turn it more into an office, because I want to go to school,” he said. “I want to study law.”

Currently Kuin is continuing his work at the Our Place Society and taking prerequisite courses.

“These kinds of units help prevent homelessness,” said Alan Rycroft, communications manager for Cool Aid. “By preventing homeless it’s better for the person, for the community and it saves on money for taxpayers.”

Rycroft added that there are still several units available on the third floor, and that applicants can apply in person at 101-749 Pandora Ave. from Monday to Friday between 9 and 11 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m.

As well as the 15 new units, as of Nov. 1, Cool Aid opened up its temporary shelter space at the Downtown Community Centre, which will provide nighttime mats for 40 adults until the end of March. An additional 20 mats at Rock Bay Landing were added as part of an extreme weather response.

For more information you can visit coolaid.org.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

 

Alan Rycroft, community relations manager at the Cool Aid Society, stands in front of the Mount Edwards building. At the beginning of November, 15 new apartments became available for low-income seniors. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Just Posted

500 pounds of turkey served at Cool Aid community Christmas dinner

Annual dinner serves hundreds of community members

VIDEO: Annual Tuba Christmas concert draws large crowd to Market Square

Over 100 tuba and euphonium players gathered to play festive tunes

Revisit Christmas past as Point Ellice House displays Victorian-era traditions

Antique bobbles, cards, decor and more are on display

Bold and brassy quintet touches down at UVic

Internationally recognized Canadian Brass performing with Victoria Symphony on Dec. 21

Saanich church kicks off holidays with peaceful Winter Solstice service

St. Luke’s song-filled Christmas services come later

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Most Read