Gaelene Askeland has over seven years of experience leading non-profit organizations that focus on social justice issues. Having worked within the for-profit and non-profit environments in human resources and executive leadership, she has a varied background that will enable her to connect with all of the stakeholders to achieve the objectives of the Journey Home Strategy.
“I am thrilled to join the Journey Home Society and look forward to implementing the strategy to address homelessness in our community,” said Askeland. “We have an amazing opportunity to pull the community together and find creative solutions to challenges that our whole country is facing. We have a significant task ahead of us but the strategy is in place and the time is right to get it done.”
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As the executive director, Askeland will report to the Journey Home Society Board of Directors, taking on the responsibility for achieving the milestones laid out within the Journey Home Strategy. These include work on preventative measures to divert people at risk of losing their home into community-based prevention supports, developing an integrated and coordinated system that will ensure that those who are living without homes or who are at risk of losing their home will have access to the supports they need when they need them, and eliminating chronic and episodic homelessness by 2024,
“Community-driven from the beginning, Journey Home is pleased to bring Gaelene on board to provide leadership as our journey continues,” said Kyleen Myrah, co-chair of the Journey Home transition team. “Gaelene brings with her considerable experience in applying best practices to this important work. Her ability to build a collaborative culture within an innovative framework will be extremely valuable.”
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“We are excited to see the Journey Home Society move forward with hiring an Executive Director who will implement the Strategy endorsed by Council earlier this year,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “ Askeland has built strong relationships within the community and within the sector serving those without a home. These relationships are essential to the successful implementation of all the key actions of the strategy. We are confident in her abilities to lead the Society through these challenging, complex issues so our community can make significant progress in addressing homelessness.”
The Journey Home Society is accepting applications for board members until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 15. For more information and to apply, visit kelowna.ca/journeyhome.
Kelowna’s Journey Home Strategy reflects the often difficult path from homelessness and marginalization to having a home, gaining a sense of belonging, and being part of a community. It illustrates the journey from a place of uncertainty and defeat to one of safety, security and acceptance. It also demonstrates what is required on the journey of a community from complacency to action. To learn more, visit kelowna.ca/journeyhome.
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