City of West Kelowna. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)

City of West Kelowna. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)

West Kelowna awarded $190k to combat homelessness

The money will pay to hire a bylaw officer through August 2022

The City of West Kelowna has received provincial support for their community initiative designed to combat homelessness.

After submitting an application last May, the City of West Kelowna has be selected to receive two grants from the province for $30,000 and $157,193.50 respectively.

READ MORE: City of West Kelowna approves funding application for outreach program

The first grant will go toward developing a housing needs assessment to identify gaps in the housing market that the city should address.

The assessment will begin this summer with input from representatives from Interior Health, Westbank First Nation, the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club and more. Public input will be considered come fall.

The second grant will support the Peer Ambassador Program operated by Partners in Resource (PIERS). The program would see peer ambassadors working with a non-profit on reaching out to West Kelowna’s most vulnerable communities. The grant money will cover the salary of a temporary bylaw officer that specializes in supporting marginalized groups.

“Funding for the Peer Ambassador Program will provide more opportunities to assist our most vulnerable members of the community and connect them with support services and other resources,” said Mayor Gord Milsom. “This program and the Peer Ambassadors will also provide opportunities to engage with residents and businesses to address issues as they arise.”

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