Photo Credit: June Titian photos | Ha-Shilth-Sa

New Wellness Centre Coming to Ty-Histanis: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Re-purposes Trailers for Community Recovery

"We call it a helping house. It’s not a homeless shelter."

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is responding to community members’ needs.

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is working on a special project to create a wellness centre at Ty-Histanis. The First Nation is repurposing five trailers from Ahousaht to create the new centre.

This centre will support members of the community who need recovery resources and help them find more stability.

Jim Chisholm, Tribal Administrator of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, wants to give back to people who need access to treatment services but can’t find safe places afterward.

“We call it a helping house. It’s not a homeless shelter,” Chisholm told Ha-Shilth-Sa.

“We had a situation where we had some of our people sleeping in the park in Tofino in the wintertime,” he said. “They wanted help, they reached out for help. That’s what prompted us to buy this camp.”

The units in the wellness centre include an industrial kitchen and enough room for about 18 people. The goal is to help tenants transition into more permanent housing.

All visitors to the site must follow an alcohol/drug-free policy and the premises will have staff supervising them.

Support is not just for those seeking drug or alcohol treatment. They also offer housing for folks who are unhoused because of employability issues.

Tenants should be able to move in as soon as March 2023. Applications will be done through the nation.

According to Chisholm, another benefit of the trailers is they can be repurposed in the future.