100 Homes Penticton has recently applied to be considered a designated community with Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. The inclusion could mean increased funding for initiatives. Black Press file photo

100 Homes seeks to add Penticton to federal homelessness strategy

Penticton council provided a letter of support to join Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy

100 Homes Penticton, via the United Way Central & South Okanagan, is hoping the city will become a designated community part of Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.

According to Jude Brunt, the community investment manager with United Way Central & South Okanagan, Kelowna is already one of 61 communities included in the strategy. If Penticton were to become a designated community, Brunt said it would give the city access to more federal funding for initiatives reducing homelessness.

“It would give some longer term funding to start, which is great. So rather than short-term funding for programs, it means federal funding is longer term and more significant,” said Brunt. “With the program’s predecessor, the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, we were able to recruit our housing locator. We’ve had someone in that role for the last 18 months to two years and that was in danger of coming to an end.”

Brunt said this person “liaises with private landlords in Penticton to educate them on how they could potentially rent to somebody that is currently homeless.” They also provide information to homeless people about “how to be a good tenant”, and runs the certificated Rent Smart program which is available for homeless individuals to participate in to learn about “the residential tenancy act, paying rent on time and looking after a property” and more.

Related: 100 Homes showing documentary on homelessness

“(Being included in the strategy) would help fund this position and other types of initiatives in Penticton on a much longer term basis,” said Brunt. “It would also help fund additional houses, so seed money for getting additional housing off the ground or helping agencies run these housing programs.”

Not to mention, being acknowledged as a designated community would bring Penticton and its homelessness issue into the spotlight on a national level. Brunt said this in turn would lead to better conversations about addressing the issue.

“It would really just open up the conversation to a wider audience. More people will become educated and knowledgeable about the complexity of the issue,” said Brunt. “There’s no one-quick-fix solution, it’s going to take the entire city and all of its component parts to work together on it. And being one of the designated communities will highlight that.

March 8 was the deadline for communities to apply to be considered for the strategy, and Brunt is confident that Penticton has a good shot in being one of the four to six communities that will be added in April. Penticton city council recently provided a letter of support to 100 Homes following a presentation during the regular meeting on March 5.

“We’ll find out in mid-April if we’ve been shortlisted and we’ll have to provide a much more detailed application at that stage. We also have the support of the Canadian Alliance to End Homeless (CAEH) in our favour, they’ve written a very strong letter of support to the federal government to suggest that all seven of the communities that are involved with the federal initiative 20,000 Homes should be made designated communities,” said Brunt. “We’ve been involved with that since the get-go as a partner. And CAEH has suggested that the government add all seven to this strategy.”

Brunt said while they wait to hear if Penticton made the shortlist, the work will still continue in the community to collaborate with other agencies and initiatives. In addition, 100 Homes will be meeting with similar program operators from Vernon and Kelowna since they face similar difficulties, a first according to Brunt.

“We’re already working on increased collaboration, 100 Homes has already been very progressive and hardworking in terms of starting to form those partnerships,” said Brunt. “We have plans in the works for Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton to meet in May to really share ideas.

“There’s lots of similarities between the three communities and lots of difference too. But sharing ideas and concepts that work is always a good thing.”

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

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

Princeton ATV rider slapped with numerous charges after complaint of near miss on the KVR

‘I would never defend actions like that’ - Ed Vermette, Princeton ATV Club president

Anarchist Mountain Fire Department extinguishes ‘flaming river’ on Highway 3

Blaze caused by truck that caught fire and leaked diesel across the road

Lower Similkameen Indian Band closes beach near Cawston to non-band members

The COVID-19 crisis “has not gone away” and “remains an ever present threat” says the LSIB

Morning Start: Dogs can smell cancer

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

Aces aplenty at Okanagan golf course

Vernon Golf and Country Club has 14 recorded holes-in-one since April 30

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Sad ending in case of missing Okanagan senior

Body of Vernon man Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Vernon murder case back in court

Voir dire held for one of two accused in death of William Bartz in July 2017

Most Read