Penticton’s 100 More Homes plans to create a unified list of local people experiencing homelessness in the community.
In a presentation to Penticton city council on Feb. 16, the community group provided an update on the last year, and their plans ahead which includes the creation of a by-name list.
“A by-name list, would be a real-time list of those currently experiencing homelessness in the community,” said Naomi Woodland, coordinator of 100 More Homes Penticton.
The list would help to provide information such as the in- and out-flow of people in the homeless population, as well as information on individuals with the services they need.
Work on the by-name list is planned to begin in April, alongside a point-in-time count of the homeless population in the community.
According to Woodland, 88 per cent of the individuals on the older coordinated access list have been in Penticton from three to 20 years, and 16 per cent of them being in Penticton for over 20 years.
“When we think about why the by-name list, the first piece for me of knowing people by name is humanizing them,” said Tanya Behardien, the chair of 100 More Homes Penticton. “Really understanding people’s stories, how they arrived at their current circumstance, and the range of services that would benefit them.”
The by-name list would serve to provide a single-unified way of keeping a track of the community, instead of each support service and community group having their own individual lists.
Having that information would also assist 100 More Homes with planning for the future, such as what services will need to be expanded, and how to reduce the number of homeless issues in the community.
Further, 100 More Homes plans to look into what supports are provided by other communities in the South Okanagan, and map out services and housing availability in the area surrounding Penticton.
“There’s a need for more housing, more health supports and increased coordination across systems in the region,” said Woodland.
Over the last year with COVID-19, the group has seen both an increased demand, and a change in those seeking support.
The group established a COVID-19 task force, to provide isolation support, personal protective equipment and a hygiene centre at Victory Church in Penticton.
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