Inn from the Cold-Kelowna is one of 11 finalists in the BC Ideas People’s Choice Investment competition.
The local organization’s Inn Home Support program was chosen from a pool of 466 entries across B.C. in a search for innovative social endeavours.
“We’re the only program in Kelowna that made it, so we’re not competing against anybody locally,” said Tara Tschritter, Inn from the Cold-Kelowna coordinator.
The Inn Home Support service started in 2008 to address the rising number of people living on the street.
“We pair people up one-on-one with advocates in the community…it’s sort of like a big brothers, big sisters thing,” said Tschritter.
“They help them with things like taking them to appointments, general companionship and also help them not fall through the cracks.”
According to Tschritter, the volunteers meet with clients on a weekly basis and keep an online log of the interactions so social workers can deal with problems before they become too serious.
The local charity is now looking to the public to help it finish in the top three.
Voting is open until Nov. 9 and, if the Kelowna entry gets enough votes, it will be awarded with $15,000 for the Inn Home Support program.
Along with Inn Home Support, the organization also has a winter shelter available to those in need from Nov. 1 to April 15.
“According to the Gospel Mission, they’re full right now, which they weren’t last year at this time. So we’re seeing the need quite strongly this year,” said Tschritter.
She added Inn from the Cold-Kelowna also offers an outreach program to identify those in need.
The purpose of the BC Ideas People’s Choice Investment competition is to find innovative solutions to health, social and environmental challenges facing B.C. communities today and in the future.
Other finalists include Aboriginal eMentoring BC, Early Entrepreneurs Experiment and the Keeping Vulnerable Families Together program.
For more information, visit changemakers.com/bcideas.
To vote for the Inn Home Support program, visit innfromthecoldkelowna.org and click on the vote button. Voting is open until Nov. 9.