Penticton and Lake Country are on the list of communities receiving community innovation grants for local action on the overdose crisis. File photo

Penticton and Lake Country are on the list of communities receiving community innovation grants for local action on the overdose crisis. File photo

Two Okanagan groups receiving grants to aid with overdose crisis

Community innovation grants awarded to address overdose crisis at the local level

Penticton’s Pathways Resource Society is one of just two Okanagan organization to receive a community innovation grant through the province of B.C.

Twenty-seven communities and organizations are receiving a total of about $1.7 million in funding to support local action to save lives, address stigma and connect more people to treatment and recovery. Besides Pathways, the only other Okanagan group in this round of funding is the Lake Country Health Planning Society.

The projects will help address local needs specific to each community. Examples range from peers taking an active leadership role in the development and delivery of overdose prevention services in Quesnel, to involving peers in partnerships around single-room-occupancy resources to support socially isolated people in Vancouver.

“People on the ground, in communities, are the best equipped to identify what’s working, to find the gaps and to set priorities as we work together to end this achingly long public health emergency,” said Judy Darcy, minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “That’s why I am so encouraged by the projects put forward from communities in every part of B.C. to save lives, fight stigma and connect more people to treatment and recovery.”

This funding is part of a two-stream grant process administered through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and Community Action Initiative (CAI) that aims to provide targeted resources for innovative overdose prevention measures in communities affected by the overdose crisis.

“Communities are working hard to find thoughtful and locally appropriate ways to counter the overdose crisis,” said Dr. Patricia Daly, executive lead, Overdose Emergency Response Centre. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support these 27 projects to expand the reach and scope of our overdose response.”

Community innovation grants are being distributed through the CMHA in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions via the Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC). Grants come from the province’s Community Crisis Innovation Fund. The Ministry of Health provided $4 million in funding to the CMHA and CAI from the September 2017 Budget Update to address the overdose crisis, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to create the Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Fund.

* Chilliwack: Cyrus Centre

* Comox Valley: AVI Health & Community Services Society

* Hope – District of Kent: Hope & Area Transition Society

* Lake Country: Lake Country Health Planning Society

* Mission: Mission Community Services

* Nak’azdli Whu’ten/Fort St. James: Nak’azdli Whu’ten

* Nelson: ANKORS

* Parksville: Island Crisis Care Society

* Penticton: Pathways Resource Society

* Port Hardy: Kwakiutl Band Council

* Prince George: Central Interior Native Health Society

* Prince George: New Hope Society

* Quesnel: City of Quesnel

* Smithers/Dawson Creek: Positive Living North

* Surrey: Surrey Women’s Centre

* Tri-Cities: SHARE

* Vancouver: Carnegie Community Centre

* Vancouver: Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House

* Vancouver: Megaphone

* Vancouver: Overdose Prevention Society

* Vancouver: Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing

* Vancouver Island: Intertribal Health Authority

* Xwisten: Community of Xwisten

Provincewide community groups and agencies:

* Canadian Aids Society

* Metis Nation BC

* Moms Stop the Harm

* Pain BC


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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