Sooke’s Hope Centre, you may have noticed, is coming along nicely. It’s even on schedule, according to Kaela Schramm, the Development Services Planner from M’akola Housing Society, and also the project consultant for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
The Hope Centre is scheduled for completion this August, and occupancy will start in September. The application process will start sometime this summer, and the website can be monitored for updates at (makola.bc.ca).
As announced earlier, the building will house 25 units, including both bachelor and one-bedroom apartment-style suites. According to Schramm, rental rates “range from $375-$695 for bachelor units, and from $570-$827 for the one-bedroom units. Also, we have not finalized all of the pre-requisites for these units, however, income will be need to be verified for an individual to qualify depending on the different levels of rent.”
Units will be rented to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal applicants, with priority given to Aboriginals. Priority will be given to youth with a tentative age guideline set between the ages of 19 to 31.
“Priority will be given to Sooke residents unless the building is not full,” adds Schramm.
The building, as described on the architect Joe Newell’s website, will have “25 suites of affordable housing for homeless native youth managed by M’Akola Housing Society. In addition, the Society of St Vincent de Paul will continue to operate a Thrift Store in a larger space on the ground floor of the building along with a Social Concerns Office. A space will be reserved for the use of alternative native school programs and college programs operating in the Sooke area.”
The plans for the educational spaces are still being developed.
“We have not secured a tenant for the office/classroom space on the second floor,” indicated Schramm. “The vision is to have a community-oriented group or services located in this space. We are in discussions with a couple of potential tenants for the space, but continue to be open to any interested applicants.”