Penticton paramedics took about 70 per cent more calls for drug overdoses in 2020 compared to 2019, Interior Health representatives told Penticton council Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. ((Jesse Day - Western News)

Penticton paramedics took about 70 per cent more calls for drug overdoses in 2020 compared to 2019, Interior Health representatives told Penticton council Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. ((Jesse Day - Western News)

City seeks $300K grant to help address opioid crisis

The grant would provide $100K a year over three years to a Community Action Team

The City of Penticton is looking for a $300,000 grant to help address the ongoing opioid crisis in Penticton.

The grant would be applied on behalf of the Community Action Team through the Vancouver Foundation’s Systems Change Test Grants program for $100,000 a year for three years.

According to the report to council on Jan. 19, Interior Health estimates there has been 108 overdose deaths in the South Okanagan between April 1, 2016 and November 30, 2020, with two-thirds of those deaths in Penticton.

READ MORE: Penticton overdose calls see drastic increase in 2020

Council unanimously approved the request to seek the grant funding.

The grant, if successful, would be added on top of existing funds for an estimated $718,500 over the next three years.

The funds would be used towards pilot projects and initiatives to address addictions and overdoses in the community, looking at further ways to make more substantial changes.

The grant would also support the costs of having individuals with lived experience with opioids in the past participate in the process, to cover some of the costs with coordinating new initiatives, and to hire experts and others to help.

The Community Action Team is made of participants in the city’s bylaw and social development departments, local Indigenous organizations and communities, the RCMP, Interior Health and local organizations such as Pathways Addictions Resource Centre, OneSky Community Resources and the South Okanagan Women in Needs Society.

READ MORE: Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; B.C. drug toxicity continues to increase

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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