KAMLOOPS — Renovations to the old Maverick Motor Inn are nearing completion.
The province bought the motel in April for $6.5 million, and ASK Wellness and BC Housing are partnering to create a place for people in the final stages of recovery.
The new housing units are projected to open Nov. 15.
"What we're doing right now, we're doing it in stages," said project manager Yves Mantha. "I'm trying to get the second floor completed by a certain date and then the first."
Doors arrived this week and are being installed, and a fresh coat of paint is going in every one of the 43 rooms.
When it opens, it's a place where people nearing the end of the recovery will be able to live at cheaper rent while trying to find stable employment.
"43 is a huge impact in this community," said ASK Wellness executive director Bob Hughes. "The intent is, and we planned with our inventory and with our partners, is people moving out of places in the downtown where they've basically stalled. They've come off the streets, they've addressed some of their issues, and so that's who we're really trying to recruit up through to the Maverick."
Nick Reul has been there. He's completed a recovery program, but at one time needed help from ASK Wellness, which set him up with subsized housing. ASK also hired him to work with their mattress program.
But three months ago, Reul was recruited as a general labourer to work on this project.
"I was able to rebuild some of my job skills, I was also able to be part of helping out ASK Wellness and BC Housing," said Reul. "It's been rewarding that I've been able to be part of this."
While Reul is now holding a steady employment in construction, with prospects beyond this job, working on the soon-to-be Maverick Manor is like paying it forward.
"Being able to help any recovering addict is paramount," he said. "It means a lot to me. There wasn't always help in the community like this, so I think this project will add a special benefit to that."
The Maverick Manor is projected to welcome some new tenants in about a month, with others starting to live here in early December. The final goal is get people working.
"It's not about getting a full-time job right off the bat," said Hughes. "It might be a part-time job doing some custodial work. It may be working in a restaurant. It may be at a gas station. It may be at the light industrial area down below."
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