FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Jared Braun, executive director of the Fort St. John Salvation Army, says the supportive housing component of the Northern Centre of Hope is reaching its final stages.

He says that the structure, inside and out, is pretty much finished but that they’re waiting for BC Hydro to install the main power line, which requires a trench, permit and installation.

“So until that point, the building can’t be operational, of course. It’s just on a temporary power and generators source right now,” said Braun.

Contractors are starting to focus on outside work, such as landscaping, planting a garden, and installing a gazebo, due to the improved weather conditions.

“There’s going to be kind of a common sitting area outside for guests that they can use.”

Over the next month or so, the parking lot will be getting some new concrete and asphalt work done as well, Braun says.

They have also started to review applications for those wanting to move into the units.

“[We’re] working together with other community partners to determine who are gonna be the best residents to live in there.”

The Salvation Army is currently working with BC Housing to get the capital for its operating budget to hire staff and cover needed supplies.

“Most of the main furniture’s already in. There’s a furniture order that’s waiting to come in once the elevator’s operational. That’s just in storage in Dawson Creek right now.”

Braun expects the building to be open by this summer but says it’s hard to set a date due to some outstanding permits and required work.

“I’m an optimist. I want to say summer, and that’s really vague.”

He says that because of these delays and any future ones they may run into, the opening date may still be bumped back a couple of months.

“It’s a little bit behind. We had hoped for the beginning of summer.”

Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.