Vancouver Native Housing Block Party at Kwayatsut

It was a perfect summer morning for a celebration in the streets surrounding Vancouver Native Housing Society's newest project at Broadway and Fraser Streets in Vancouver, which officially opened June 26th.

The nine storey building has 103 units of safe, secure affordable housing for Aboriginal individuals who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness, including 38 units specifically earmarked for youth aged 12 to 24.  The building also houses the new 20,000 square foot Broadway Youth Resources Centre.

Hosted by David Eddy, CEO of Vancouver Native Housing Society, the event welcomed dignitaries, supporters, friends and residents.

Suzanne Anton, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview said that Kwayatsut "could not be in a better location" situated as it is in the heart of Mount Pleasant.  "What a thrilling day".

Richard George, President of VNHS, announced "with great pride Vancouver Native Housing Society is opening our 18th building".  He thanked the many people involved in realizing this "remarkable venture", including Terra, who has worked with VNH for more than three decades.

Two residents of Kwayatsut spoke of their experiences in their new home.  Delores, a Metis woman from the northern region of Saskatchewan, whose family had a long history in the Mount Pleasant area, said "stability and trust have been important to me.  I have been homeless in the past, with my children and without them."  Since moving in, Delores said "changes in my quality of life are night and day" and she thanked the people who work to make the new building a home for residents.  "I think of the staff as guardian angels."

Grayson, a youth tenant, said "I want to thank the community for welcoming us in this beautiful area".  He values the "tight-knit" community, saying we "feel like family here".

The project has applied for its LEED Gold certification.