Kelowna’s Journey Home Task Force is moving ahead, backed by a newly hired consultant and her teams.
Alina Turner and the Turner Strategies team was hired to help create the city’s long-term strategy to address homelessness. Turner is a leading researcher, with her work on system planning recognized as a leading best practice and an often-used model across communities.
“Turner Strategies has completed more than 50 projects that focus on resolving complex social issues, like poverty and homelessness. We are excited to incorporate and learn from such an exceptional national expert,” said Martin Bell, the Journey Home Task Force co-chair.
Turner led the implementation of Canada’s first homelessness management information system and designed Calgary’s Housing First system. Most recently, her team worked with Victoria, Edmonton and Yellowknife on their plans to address homelessness.
The Turner team has also partnered with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and A Way Home Canada to prepare the Journey Home plan. The observatory is a leader in Canada in forming partnerships to conduct research for more effective solutions to homelessness. A Way Home Canada is a national coalition focused on addressing youth homelessness.
“The combined expertise included on Dr. Turner’s team will help our community make significant progress toward preventing homelessness, and ensuring if it does occur, that it is short-lived and doesn’t reoccur,” said Kyleen Myrah, the Journey Home Task Force other co-chair.
A number of community initiatives are already taking place in Kelowna that help support Journey Home’s vision, including:
• A street outreach to housing training session attended by nearly 100 people from 30 different organizations and agencies
• Recent cooperative work with BC Housing and the John Howard Society to establish an emergency shelter for up to 80 people on Leon Avenue
• The recent BC Housing announcement that 127 additional supportive housing units will be available in Kelowna in the coming months, pending permit approvals and site finalization.
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