Journey Home Task Force co-chairs Kyleen Myra and Martin Bell make their proposal Monday to members of Kelowna city council. -Image: Alistair Waters

Journey Home Task Force co-chairs Kyleen Myra and Martin Bell make their proposal Monday to members of Kelowna city council. -Image: Alistair Waters

Long-awaited homelessness strategy presented to Kelowna council

The made-in-Kelowna solution calls for an investment of $46.7 million over five years

Kelowna’s long-awaited plan to address the issue of homelessness will be presented to city council Monday afternoon.

The plan, being recommended by the Journey Home Task Force, proposes a $46.7 million effort over five years, with $18 million would go to provide 300 units of long-term housing in buildings with supports on-site for people with complex needs such as addiction, mental health and medical needs.

Another $26 million would be earmarked for 500 new program spaces supporting people in rental housing across the city, including assertive community treatment, intensive care management, rapid rehousing and prevention. The support would be based on the Housing First Model, which advocates getting people into housing before providing supportive programs.

B.C. Housing has currently committed to the development of two buildings with a total of 88 units and is in discussion with the city about 102 additional units in future buildings throughout the city.

The city money would go towards building and additional 110 housing units in three buildings.

The report also calls for $2.7 million for a “neutral backbone” organization with a focus on, and accountability for, the implementation of the Journey Home Strategy. It would look at co-ordinating funding, system planning, capacity building, leadership and accountability and development innovation and partnerships.

Related story: Kelowna interest in solving homelessness highly motivated

The report justifies the $46.7 million cost by saying the price of doing nothing and maintaining the status quo would be $100 million over the next five years when it comes to housing the estimated 2,100 people who will require housing during that time.

To help with the cost of the strategy, the report says there are already funding commitments for a total of $236,000 over the next four years from private funders, the United Way and Urban Systems, as well as two co-working office spaces from Accelerate Okanagan.

The city has so far committed $300,000 over two years, with more to be announced going forward.

The report suggests a transition team made up of Journey Home Task Force members to support the set up of the backbone organization and to secure start-up funds over the next few months.

Then, it says, funds should be raised to hire a CEO, communications staff and “lived experience” co-ordinator, as well as administration costs along with securing office space—preferably through an in-kind donation.

In months five and six of the start up, the report says a board of directors to oversee the implementation of the strategy should be assembled, the CEO and communications staff hired, and partnerships formalized with local groups and other initiatives dealing with homelessness in the city.

The strategy’s implementation should be reviewed after three years.

Related story: Kelowna-made plan to deal with homelessness wins support

Currently, there are an estimated 2,000 people per year in Kelowna who experience homelessness says the report, with 25 to 30 per cent women, another 25 to 30 per cent indigenous individuals and 15 to 20 per cent youth.

Between 140 and 160 people are described as chronically homeless, 190 to 220 episodically homeless, 1,500 to 1,700 traditionally homeless and another 2,800 to 3,000 at a high risk of becoming homeless.

Kelowna city council will consider the Journey Home Strategy at its regular meeting Monday afternoon.

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


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Scooters lined up for an educational event in Stuart Park on Wednesday, June 16. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Free e-scooter safety training in Kelowna

Shared e-scooter operators collaborate to educate riders

The suspect reportedly assaulted a security guard and robbed him. The incident happened at a Kelowna hotel. (Contributed)
Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Employees at Playtime Casino wait outside while firefighters inspect the building after a small storage room fire on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News).
Small fire at Kelowna’s Playtime Casino as staff preps to re-open

Fire ignited in the storage room, but the staff were able to put it out

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A mother stands with her daughter, visiting senior parents but observing social distancing with a glass door between them.  The granddaughter puts her hand up to the glass, the grandfather and grandmother doing the same.  A small connection in a time of separation during the Covid-19 pandemic (Valley First/Contributed).
Have your say on which Okanagan, Thompson, Similkameen charities get donation

Valley First seeks public help to distribute $250,000 to local charities via social media campaign

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vernon Courthouse. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Sentencing delayed in North Okanagan child pornography case

Man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography will have new sentence date fixed next week

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Most Read