The city has named the 21 members who will sit on a new task force looking at the issue of homelessness in Kelowna.—contributed

Kelowna council names homelessness task force

The 21-member task force will help create a made-in-Kelowna strategy to address the problem

Kelowna city council has named the members of a task force it is establishing to look at the issue of homelessness.

On Monday, council appointed 19 people to the Journey Home Task Force, a group it says must have representation from all areas affected by the issue.

The Task Force will report directly to council and will support the development of a long-term strategy to address homelessness.

“We were inspired by the passionate and qualified people who applied to be part of the Task Force,” said Kyleen Myrah, task force co-chair. “We’re looking forward to bringing the group together and working collaboratively to provide support for the homeless in our community.” The other co-chair is Martin Bell.

According to the city, the newly named embers of the task force represent a wide diversity of sectors, skills and knowledge including: lived experience, first-hand knowledge of service navigation, health and support services, housing development and provision and funding.

The members of the Journey Home Task Force are:

Ann Howard (BC Housing)

Cheryl Miller (Central Okanagan Foundation)

John Yarshenko (Interior Health Authority)

Harleen Price (Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction)

Sheila Lewis (Okanagan Nation Alliance)

Brent Mundle (RCMP)

Tom Dyas (Kelowna Chamber of Commerce)

Theresa Arsenault

Gaelene Askeland

Diane Entwistle

Mike Gawliuk

David Krysko

Scott Lanigan

Carrie McDonald

Lisa McHaffie

Pam Moore

Brenda Plitt

Kelly Taverner

Shane Worman

“We believe we need to work together as a community to build the strategy,” said Bell.

“Everyone is invited to be part of the journey. There will be opportunities for businesses and residents to take part in the strategic process outside of the task force to provide their feedback. Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up for updates at kelowna.ca/journeyhome.”

The task force will hold its first meeting later this month and will conclude its work by June 2018.

Its first task will be to draft a vision and set of goals to drive the city’s strategic process.

Find out more about Journey Home and other community initiatives at kelowna.ca/journeyhome.