First tenant at Osborne House hopes to help others turn their lives around

By Chad Klassen
November 8, 2018 - 4:53pm Updated: November 8, 2018 - 5:28pm

KAMLOOPS — Rob Sedore has found his new permanent home at Osborne House. He has his own space, his own bed, and renewed hope for his life. 

"I feel really honoured and feel I'm here for a reason. I'm not here just because I'm in a homeless situation, but I'm here for help," said Sedore.

Sedore is the first tenant to move into the new transitional housing units on Mission Flats Road. He's been living at Bridgeway Manor on Columbia Street since May, but he spent 15 years on the streets prior. 

Adopted at birth, Sedore got into drugs. He's been clean, however, since February. He would like to help out other tenants who may be struggling with similar issues. 

"I'm here to help others because of the example that I'm setting for people by staying straight, by being clean, by taking control of my life and taking the help that ASK Wellness has provided."

ASK Wellness is the operator of Osborne House, named after the late Donnie Osborne, a homeless man in Kamloops who recently passed away. 

Bob Hughes from ASK says the project, which was finished in the span of eight weeks, is a testament to the will to get it done. 

"If you've got the will, the asset, which is the land, you've got the resources from the province, the sky's the limit," said Hughes. "When people scratch their head and go 'oh well, we can't do that,' this is an example of what can be done when you have a vision to get people off the streets into housing."

According to the last national homeless count, there are 201 people without a home in Kamloops. This 55-unit building has everything the tenants will need, their own room, a recreational room, and a kitchen that will produce three meals a day for residents. 

There will also be care provided by Interior Health. 

"We will facilitate primary care, we will facilitate help for mental health issues. If they have a chronic condition, we'll figure out how to get them the proper access."

It's a perfect situation for Sedore, who was recently diagnosed with H. pylori, which can led to infections in the stomach. But beyond his health, he hopes he can make a difference in someone else's life and one day work for ASK Wellness.

"If people can see me do well, from doing really terrible, then they can have a little bit of hope and say 'that could be me that's changing,'" noted Sedore. 

The rest of the tenants will move into Osborne House on Tuesday. The building will serve as shelter for some of the homeless for at least the next three years. 

Kamloops among centres hit by 24-hour postal walkouts Thursday