100 Homes Penticton has recently applied to be considered a designated community with Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. The inclusion could mean increased funding for initiatives. Black Press file photo

100 Homes seeks to add Penticton to federal homelessness strategy

Penticton council provided a letter of support to join Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy

100 Homes Penticton, via the United Way Central & South Okanagan, is hoping the city will become a designated community part of Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.

According to Jude Brunt, the community investment manager with United Way Central & South Okanagan, Kelowna is already one of 61 communities included in the strategy. If Penticton were to become a designated community, Brunt said it would give the city access to more federal funding for initiatives reducing homelessness.

“It would give some longer term funding to start, which is great. So rather than short-term funding for programs, it means federal funding is longer term and more significant,” said Brunt. “With the program’s predecessor, the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, we were able to recruit our housing locator. We’ve had someone in that role for the last 18 months to two years and that was in danger of coming to an end.”

Brunt said this person “liaises with private landlords in Penticton to educate them on how they could potentially rent to somebody that is currently homeless.” They also provide information to homeless people about “how to be a good tenant”, and runs the certificated Rent Smart program which is available for homeless individuals to participate in to learn about “the residential tenancy act, paying rent on time and looking after a property” and more.

Related: 100 Homes showing documentary on homelessness

“(Being included in the strategy) would help fund this position and other types of initiatives in Penticton on a much longer term basis,” said Brunt. “It would also help fund additional houses, so seed money for getting additional housing off the ground or helping agencies run these housing programs.”

Not to mention, being acknowledged as a designated community would bring Penticton and its homelessness issue into the spotlight on a national level. Brunt said this in turn would lead to better conversations about addressing the issue.

“It would really just open up the conversation to a wider audience. More people will become educated and knowledgeable about the complexity of the issue,” said Brunt. “There’s no one-quick-fix solution, it’s going to take the entire city and all of its component parts to work together on it. And being one of the designated communities will highlight that.

March 8 was the deadline for communities to apply to be considered for the strategy, and Brunt is confident that Penticton has a good shot in being one of the four to six communities that will be added in April. Penticton city council recently provided a letter of support to 100 Homes following a presentation during the regular meeting on March 5.

“We’ll find out in mid-April if we’ve been shortlisted and we’ll have to provide a much more detailed application at that stage. We also have the support of the Canadian Alliance to End Homeless (CAEH) in our favour, they’ve written a very strong letter of support to the federal government to suggest that all seven of the communities that are involved with the federal initiative 20,000 Homes should be made designated communities,” said Brunt. “We’ve been involved with that since the get-go as a partner. And CAEH has suggested that the government add all seven to this strategy.”

Brunt said while they wait to hear if Penticton made the shortlist, the work will still continue in the community to collaborate with other agencies and initiatives. In addition, 100 Homes will be meeting with similar program operators from Vernon and Kelowna since they face similar difficulties, a first according to Brunt.

“We’re already working on increased collaboration, 100 Homes has already been very progressive and hardworking in terms of starting to form those partnerships,” said Brunt. “We have plans in the works for Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton to meet in May to really share ideas.

“There’s lots of similarities between the three communities and lots of difference too. But sharing ideas and concepts that work is always a good thing.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Only steps away: Gutsy Walk returns to Kelowna

The walk to cures for Crohn’s disease and colitis comes June 2

Sister of cancer victim cycles across Canada to raise awareness

Her journey started on May 14 and will end in early August

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to the Okanagan

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone Award Foundation charity weekend in Kelowna

Woman in hospital after being thrown off horse

She was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital from Okanagan Falls

Update: Washed out South Okanagan road temporarily closed for assessment

A portion of Eastside Road, south of Penticton, appears to be crumbling into Skaha Lake

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Okanagan art gallery releases their theme

Fine arts painting will be the point of focus for this year’s event

South Okanagan search and rescue help injured climber

Search and rescue called on the assistance of a helicopter to help retrieve an injured hiker

Okanagan nature centre fundraiser goes western

Allan Brook’s Nature Centre Wine and Wild West Fundraiser is on July 6

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Most Read