Rosemary Weighill of the West Kelowna Shelter Association and an active member of the Westbank United Church (left) with Gloria Helfrick, HPS community coordinator with Piers and Nancy Blokland, community outreach coordinator with the Westbank United Church.—Image: contributed

New program to help homeless in West Kelowna

Social services organization to team up with Westbank United Church to assist those in need

A social services organization that provides housing, life skills and employment services to vulnerable people in the Central and South Okanagan is teaming up with the Westbank United Church to help those in need in West Kelowna.

Partners In Resources (Piers) has announced it has been approved by the B.C. Rural and Remote Homelessness Partnering Strategy to start providing services to West Kelowna community members who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.

Piers says it will provide housing placement and support, as well as life skills and pre-employment services. Its services are intended to increase financial and personal independence, promote a healthy lifestyle, and increase social integration.

In West Kelowna, Piers has provided a number of different services over the years and says it has seen first-hand the need in the community for housing placement services.

Related story: West Kelowna urged to help the homeless

It is also joining with the Westbank United Church to focus on resources and training to help prevent homelessness, while working swiftly to find housing for those without a home.

Piers says it will try and equip individuals to become more independent through life skills sessions and will provide hands-on experience with pre-employment training. Plus, it will be able to assist people who are urgently requiring basic needs and urgent services with the necessary resources.

Piers sys it wants to build relationships with local landlords and businesses community members, as well as the West Kelowna Shelter Association and other service providers, to increase sustainable housing and employability and bring an “enhanced” quality of life to its program participants.

Individuals will be referred or recommended to the project through a myriad of social service providers.

The project is being funded by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy and is hosted by The Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association.

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