Notice posted in the Alouette Heights supportive housing building by Coast Mental Health, December 3, 2020. (Maple Ridge Street Outreach Society/ Special to The News)

Notice posted in the Alouette Heights supportive housing building by Coast Mental Health, December 3, 2020. (Maple Ridge Street Outreach Society/ Special to The News)

Coast Mental Health meets supportive housing residents halfway

Operator allows residents to register one guest who will be allowed to visit for duration of provincial health order

A protest in Maple Ridge against what supportive housing residents were calling a guest ban, has resulted in a compromise.

Ralliers argued guest limitations would increase the likelihood of overdose deaths, and other harms due to social isolation.

Tenants who live in Coast Mental Health-run buildings will now be allowed to register one guest, who will be permitted to visit until a provincial health order, asking B.C. residents to limit interactions with family and friends to one to two people, is over.

A notice was posted in the Alouette Heights supportive housing building on Brown Avenue, informing residents of the update as of Thursday (Dec. 3) at 7 a.m.

Coast Mental Health’s senior manager of communications and community development, Susan Hancock, said the company – which operates supportive housing complexes across Metropolitan Vancouver – has had guest restrictions in place at a number of their locations since the COVID-19 pandemic started in mid-March, but she insists no guest bans were issued.

“More recently, guest restrictions were limited to one or two people in accordance with the Provincial Health Officer Order that is in place until Dec. 7, 2020,” she said.

“We continue to follow the guidelines set by the PHO and local health authorities in an effort to keep tenants, employees and the communities we serve safe.

“At facilities where clients may have compromised immune systems, our best level of protection is by limiting the amount of walk-in traffic throughout our sites, screening visitors, and suggesting to friends and family to connect using virtual platforms.”

READ MORE: Supportive housing residents protest guest ban

Alouette Heights resident and chair of Maple Ridge Street Outreach Society Tracy Scott, considers the compromise a win.

“We are happy that we’ve overthrown the guest ban,” she said.

“This will save somebody’s life in here.”

At a news conference outside the building on Dec. 2, she spoke of losing two of her friends in one day this spring, and blamed similar guest restriction policies for their deaths.

Housing advocate, Ivan Drury, suggested there is a correlation between supportive housing guest bans and the ‘record number of overdoses’ since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“Overturning Coast Mental Health’s illegal guest ban policy in Maple Ridge should be the example that residents of supportive housing elsewhere follow to fight to overturn these discriminatory and deadly guest bans everywhere,” he said.

Hancock said the company is in a difficult spot, having to balance the risks present with the opioid crisis, with a surge in COVID-19 cases in the Fraser Health region.

“These challenges have made us very aware of the risks to our tenants who have substance use disorders and require harm reduction services and safe supply to keep them safe,” she said.

“For many of our supportive housing facilities, including Maple Ridge locations, we offer tenants a safe consumption room where they can be supported by staff who are trained in administering Naloxone if an overdose occurs.

“For clients in recovery from opioid dependency, we provide them daily supports as they go through drug treatment programs that may include substitution treatments or abstinence-based approaches.

“We also continue to remind tenants with substance use disorders never to use alone.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirusmaple ridgesupportive housing

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

Just Posted

The BCJALL draft was held on Thursday evening.
Maple Ridge’s Malawsky picked first overall in BCJALL draft

Burrards midgets again dominate the Junior A midget draft

About 150 guests attended the 16th annual Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. (The News files)
Parker Kaumi, 6, and his mother, Lauren, baked cookies to raise money for the Canucks Autism Network. (Chris Kaumi/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge mother and son bake cookies for Canucks Autism Network

Raise $1,200 for the organization that offers activities and programs to children and youth with autism

If you have a letter you’d like to submit to the editor for consideration, please email us at <a href=""><strong></strong></a>. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
LETTER: ‘Maybe it’s time for a long second look’

Good news and more bad news on the Site C project and billions being spent to make it happen

Food For The Soul is offering support for the homeless population from its store on the Lougheed Highway in downtown Maple Ridge. (The News files)
LETTER: Maple Ridge’s Food For The Soul Project doing great work

Society working with homeless population in the community

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Most Read