The city progress is being made on its Journey Home strategy to address homelessness in Kelowna. —Image: Carli Berry/Capital News

Kelowna’s strategy to address homelessness making headway says city

More than $830,000 of the $2.7 million needed to get the strategy going has now been raised

The City of Kelowna says significant progress has been made towards the implementation of its Journey Home Strategy to address homelessness since over the last four months.

The strategy was endorsed by Kelowna city council on June 25 and calls for 300 units of supportive housing in Kelowna.

According to the city, some of these units are now under construction and nearing completion.

“By the end of 2018, the first 88 units of supportive housing will open and will result in 88 of Kelowna’s chronically homeless population receiving housing in a 24/7 supported environment,” said Ann Howard, regional director of B.C. Housing in the Interior.

“The most recent Point-In-Time count of individuals living without homes in Kelowna totals approximately 286 people. The 88 units opening this year are a solid and welcome start for the community and means that people will be helped off of the street in a sustainable and supportive way.”

The Journey Home transition team has also raised $836,000 towards its goal of $2.7 million.

Donors from all walks of life are investing in the community initiative, including local business leaders and philanthropists such as David and Donara Krysko and Kim Priebe who have each committed $200,000 to the start-up of the backbone organization.

“We don’t see this as a donation,” said Dave Krysko, “It is an investment—in people. When you invest, you look for a return, an outcome. That is exactly what we are doing.”

The development of a single entity to coordinate and lead the community’s response to end homelessness was a key recommendation in the Journey Home strategy. A new backbone organization – a not-for-profit society – is now in place and will focus on funding coordination, homeless system planning, establishment of a centralized intake for homeless services, capacity building, leadership and accountability, funding and service partnerships and innovative ways to achieve the goals of the Strategy.

The $2.7 million will fund the backbone organization over the next five years.

“We learned from the community that efforts to end homelessness in Kelowna will only progress if a specific organization is focused on coordinating activities and investments that will yield housing and supports for the homeless community,” said Kyleen Myrah, Journey Home transition team co-chair.

“The social issues our community faces are complex and can only be solved by working together along with strong guidance from those who have lived experience with homelessness. No single organization or government can solve homelessness alone, but working together, we can address it.”

The Journey Home transition team is now focused on filling out the board of directors for the backbone organization and hiring a full-time executive director to lead its efforts. Both tasks are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

West Kelowna reopens beach volleyball, new pickleball courts

The City of West Kelowna is asking residents to maintain safe distancing

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Most Read