An Affordable Housing Option in Vernon - A St. John's Connection

An older motel in Vernon has been purchased and set up as affordable housing to assist people to move off the street. Under the umbrella of the John Howard Society, the Blair House has been up and running in Vernon for almost a year. There are 38 rooms, 36 of which are single and 2 have a bedroom and living room (accommodating two people.) All rooms have a small kitchen with a full size fridge, micro wave, cupboards and a sink. Each person is to furnish their kitchen. Bed are supplied as well as a table and chairs. The bathroom has a tub with shower, sink and toilet.

A community kitchen has been installed in the manager's living quarters. St John's Lutheran church had the privilege to furnish this kitchen with the necessary items to be a full-service unit. This was accomplished with donations from the congregation. The John Howard Society was able to receive government grants to buy new appliances which included a stove, dishwasher, a fridge and deep freeze. A washer and dryer are also available for the residents.

Each resident pays $475/month rent.  Among other things, this accommodation gives the residents an address which is necessary when applying for a job. The long-term goal is to have the kitchen functioning by the residents to cook their three meals each day.  The goal is to form a family community and to take some of the pressure off other local agencies, including The Upper Room Mission. At this time a charitable organization is cooking twice a week with enough left overs to be taken back to the residents' rooms.

There are some on-going needs for the Blair House, including coffee mugs, forks and containers to store the reheat-able food. These items are often not returned to the kitchen.  Donations of old cottage cheese containers, yogurt containers and margarine  containers are greatly appreciated.

Folks can bring any needed supplies to the Church, care of Blair House, and Irene can take it from there. They can also be dropped off at the Blair House, located in the former Travelodge behind the Fruit Union Plaza.

November 23, 2017