Letter: BrainTrust offers support for Kelowna housing project

Kelowna - “Fifty three per cent of homeless individuals live with a brain injury…”

An open letter:

This letter is to support the proposal going to public hearing Jan. 17 for a supportive housing community on Agassiz Road to house 55 people who are currently living without access to safe and stable housing. On behalf of BrainTrust Canada I would like to extend our full support to this essential housing project.

Every day, the team at BrainTrust struggles with finding affordable housing for our clients. Fifty three per cent of homeless individuals live with a brain injury with 77 per cent of these clients already homeless prior to their diagnosis. We know firsthand how this plays out.

Without a home, we cannot begin to tackle essential brain injury rehabilitation, leaving clients in crisis. This crisis inevitably leads to additional health issues including physical, cognitive, addiction and mental health deficits. All of this increases the drain on our limited resources.

Statistics demonstrate and prove that Kelowna is experiencing a supply and demand problem for affordable housing. Statistics also demonstrate that providing housing to those in need yields a 2:1 financial return on investment.

Most of us also feel that it is our moral obligation to treat our most vulnerable citizens with this most basic need. The concerns around property value and crime only feel real to those who do not understand and work with our homeless citizens.

They are people just like us, except that they could be struggling with a brain injury, a mental health issue, an addiction issue or a financial strain. Unlike us, they may not have the social and family supports to assist in their recovery. As a society, we will all benefit from caring for and respecting all our citizens, especially our most vulnerable citizens. With the existing shortage and crisis around affordable housing in our city, we need to not only support this project, but embrace future projects to tackle homelessness in our city.

Sincerely,

Mona Hennenfent

CEO, BrainTrust Canada

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