What was your reaction when you heard that Coast was coming to your neighbourhood?

My first impression of Renfrew House was more curious than concerned. Renfrew House didn’t do a great job of communicating with neighbours initially which created a lot of fear and anger. Without enough prior information, even some of the parents overreacted.  

However, when we got the information we needed, my school board and I jumped on board immediately…our school was very supportive of Renfrew House. I received a few letters of concerns, but by far, a lot more that said that we should be supporting programs like this. Our staff were 100% in support and wondered how we could extend a welcome.

I was very impressed with Renfrew House and wish more at risk young people could gain access to such great resources. I had a sibling with mental illness and wish there could have been something like this for him 30 years ago. The staff was welcoming to us each time we came for a visit. We enjoying chatting with the residents as well. 

Why do you support Coast in your community today?

I have had no concerns or complaints regarding the residents of Renfrew House and I really didn’t expect any! We talked with our students about Renfrew House and who lived there and why these kinds of community homes are so important and of course, about mental health! We’ve had a good relationship with Renfrew House and hope to continue this.  

We have talked several times with Renfrew House about how we could more engaged with them as a school but it’s challenging due to the short times that clients stay there. We’re happy to have them here and will continue to check in with them when we move back to our campus in about a year.



About Renfrew House


Renfrew Heights



Opened in:



This home is a short-stay (3-6 months), substance-free, supportive housing facility for youth ages 19-24 years-old who are active in their recovery from mental health and substance use challenges. 

Following the principles of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (which includes individual + group therapy, medication management, etc.) staff help clients re-stabilize with the end goal of help them move back into the community independently or in a semi-supportive long term setting

Renfrew House fun fact: Clients and staff go to a new ice cream shop around Vancouver every other Saturday as a treat and to do something fun in the communities they visit. With all the new ice cream shops opening around town, this outing is here to stay!