Photo: Rob Gibson
The City of Kelowna is reimbursed for the construction of an overnight homeless camp site on Richter Street and Weddell Square.
The city of Kelowna received $ 3.2 million to improve outdoor camping spaces for homeless residents in the community.
The grant provided by the federal and provincial governments through UBCM will be used to reimburse the construction and operation of the purpose-built overnight campground on Richter Street and Weddell Place.
The funds will also be used for a day-use site with personal storage, outreach support services and access to personal hygiene services. An awareness campaign will be launched to reduce the stigma surrounding homelessness.
PEOPLE Employment Services, Metro Community, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society and the Canadian Mental Health Association will also benefit from the grant.
“This is a significant achievement and I am very happy to see this grant awarded to the City of Kelowna,” said Mayor Colin Basran.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis, a tough housing market and the lack of affordable housing have added complexity to the housing landscape over the past year and have contributed to the dynamic nature of homelessness . “
Basran says the grant shows all levels of government are working together to improve conditions for people who are homeless.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for all of us, but it has been hit hard by the people of Kelowna taking shelter outside,” said Darren Caul, director of community safety.
“The objective of this grant is to improve health and safety specifically for this population. We have worked with the Lived Experience Circle on Homelessness to develop a comprehensive plan to improve conditions for people sheltering outdoors and we look forward to taking this funding and putting the plan into action.