Head Injury Support Society housing and programming coordinator Jennifer Kay, along with executive director Shelley Howard, celebrate the purchase of the property two doors down from their offices at the corner of 9th and Dogwood, which will soon become Linda’s Place – a 27-unit apartment complex named after Howard’s Mother. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Head Injury Support Society scaling up housing offerings

Linda’s Place, a 27-unit apartment complex, will have half set aside for clients, half for the market

It’s been a lot of hard work and a long time coming, but the Campbell River Head Injury Support Society has begun work on a housing facility that will go a long way in supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Back in 2011, after two years of effort, the society managed to pull together the funds to purchase the former Hillcrest Store property at the corner of Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue and put four transitional apartments upstairs, with their offices on the main floor.

A few years later they secured two small side-by-side apartments in Campbellton so a few of their clients could have a more stable, longer-term housing situation. But the waitlist for housing kept growing and there were no other rooms available.

But now, thanks to a mortgage approval from BC Housing and a very patient local family, they are beginning construction on Linda’s Place, a 27-unit apartment complex just two doors down 9th Avenue from their home at the top of the hill, named after executive director Shelly Howard’s mother, who passed away 10 years ago and supported the society with a huge amount of volunteer work.

“It’s very exciting,” says Jennifer Kay, the society’s housing and programming coordinator. “We’ve been working on this for so long, and to see the trees coming down on the property making room for what we’re doing … well, it’s really exciting that it’s actually finally happening.”

People living with brain injuries aren’t exactly what anyone would call “ideal tenants,” after all, so they need somewhere they can be supported, even if it’s only in an increased level of understanding from their landlord.

“It’s about a safe, affordable place to live, as well as landlords who understand brain injury,” Kay says. “Sometimes our guys will forget to pay rent, or forget to pay their Hydro … they can be hard to rent to.”

Linda’s place, a mix of bachelor, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments – along with two three-bedroom units – will have half of the units set aside for clients of the Head Injury Support Society and half open to the general rental market.

“Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to afford the mortgage payments,” Kay says. “For our clients, we charge the lowest shelter portion that we can, and even for the other ones, we’re going to try and keep it below the market rate, because current rates are still really expensive. But it will depend on how much funding we get while we’re building it.”

Another thing they are excited about, Kay says, is that there will be space to have visiting medical professionals set up shop temporarily to help their clients receive services they’d otherwise have to travel long distances to access.

“A lot of brain injury specific services are only available in Victoria or Vancouver,” Kay says, “and that makes it really difficult if you’re on ministry funding to get to them. By having this space, we can bring some of those to town once in a while to help our clients.”

The transitional housing above the office on the corner will still be operational, as will their current long-term housing unit in Campbellton.

But in order for Linda’s Place to make its full impact on the situation, they need the community’s support.

“If we’re going to be able to keep the rents down so they’re reasonable, we’re going to need to do a ton of fundraising,” Kay says.

The building is targeted to be open for rentals as of the fall of next year, but Kay says it will really depend on how much work gets done over the next few weeks.

“I think, realistically, we’re going to be stopped by the weather shortly, so we’ll have to wait until the spring to start doing things like laying the foundation and really seeing a lot of progress, but we’re definitely hopeful we can have it open before next winter.”

Howard knows if her mother were still alive today she would be proud of the society’s newest effort.

“It didn’t matter what it was we needed help with,” Howard says, “she was always there with her support, from scrubbing toilets to making curtains for a new office space. She was an amazing lady and a great role model. If she was still alive I know she’d be getting dirty digging, hammering, making even more curtains, planting gardens and helping with the fundraising.”

Anyone who would like to help out can contact them by email at info@crhead.ca, phone the office at 250-287-4323 or drop by the office.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Museum at Campbell River and Greenways Land Trust are hosting a virtual talk by UVIC PhD candidate Garth Covernton on Nov. 5. Tickets are only $7 and are available at crmusum.ca. Photo courtesy Garth Covernton
New Museum at Campbell River speaker series leads off with talk on microplastics

Tickets for digital event Nov. 5 are only $7 and include the opportunity to ask questions

North Island Votes. Campbell River Mirror graphic
Babchuk declared winner in North Island

Nearly three-quarters of votes counted and mail-in ballots still to come

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read