West Kelowna conducts survey for living situations on Westside

Survey will reveal how many people on Westside experience housing challenges

Contributed

The City of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation are partnering on the coordination of a point-in-time count for the Westside.

The completion of the count was inspired by both the Journey Home initiative that WFN participated in to represent an aboriginal voice with the City of Kelowna and was also a recommended action of the Social Issues Research Paper recently completed for the City of West Kelowna. The purpose of the survey is to collect data from persons experiencing living without permanent, safe housing.

Related: West Kelowna sends out its annual Citizen’s Survey

The survey will reveal how many people on the Westside experience housing challenges and provide basic demographic information and community needs for the Westside, which will help direct future programs, policy changes and other supports.

As this is the first count of this nature, the data will form a baseline to measure progress on efforts to end homelessness. The survey results will be compiled by mid-August and reports will be presented to both jurisdictions and shared with service providers to assist with future funding requests to senior governments.

Related: B.C. mineral exploration permits taking longer: survey

BC Housing met with WFN to present supportive housing options available for the Westside. Funding and development opportunities discussions are currently underway. The City of West Kelowna has requested a meeting with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing and BC Housing at the Union of BC Municipalities conference in September to lobby the Province to support applications for supportive housing that will assist those in need on the Westside.

The count was a success thanks to the amazing volunteer support received from community. Volunteers, working in teams, assisted the count by administering the survey and assisting with food preparation and meal service at survey locations. Volunteers took part in pre-survey training sessions to help prepare for the point-in-time count.

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