The leaders in solving homelessness in Kelowna have received a sizeable stipend for funding. (Don Erhardt)

UBC Okanagan awarded grant for homelessness research

Director expects funding to surpass $1M by year’s end

Four prominent institutions and programs in the Okanagan have received a stipend for taking a multidisciplinary approach to solving homelessness.

UBC Okanagan, Journey Home, Interior Health and Okanagan College have received $218,000 to research different ways to improve services for homeless people.

The funding, provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, UBC and the Vancouver Foundation, will provide researchers an opportunity to focus on three priorities according to a UBC press release.

The first is improvements in technology, such as database management improvements, according to John Graham, director of UBCO School of Social Work.

READ MORE: Homeless West Kelowna man found dead in tent remembered well

“These are important in helping to make homelessness strategies more responsive, efficient, and at the same time, increasing the number of people who are able to be off the street,” he said.

The second aspect will focus on homeless, business and services relations and the third will regard service delivery improvements.

“We need better delivery of the specific service needs of those who have experienced traumatic brain injury, versus a major mental disorder, a substance misuse, generalized trauma, each of which often frequently co-occurs,” Graham said.

In 2018, the City of Kelowna adopted Journey Home—a five-year plan to address homelessness in the Central Okanagan.

READ MORE: West Kelowna homeless population is 61 per cent First Nation

Journey Home’s goal is to ensure a co-ordinated and easy-to-access system of care for those in the region who have lost, or are at risk of losing, their home.

“We now have a team in place that will significantly contribute to service improvements and reductions in homelessness,” Graham said.

The research team expects more funding opportunities to come from this initiative.

“We should be able to leverage current funds to quickly get over the $1 million mark within a year,” Graham said. “I really want to see the university’s skills leveraged to help improve the homelessness response roll out across the region.”

READ MORE: Kelowna woman to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for homeless youth



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Just Posted

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Okanagan Great Ogogogo Bathtub Race beats fundraising goal

Total money raised from the race series is $124,500

VIDEO: Rain doesn’t stop Penticton Terry Fox Run

Around 200 people showed up to raise money for cancer research Sunday

1955 Vees reign again at Classics hockey tourney in Penticton

The 1955 World Championship Vees took home the Moog Cup at minor hockey tournament

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Athlete of the Week: William Buttar

Though he is little, William Buttar is fierce as he makes his introduction into the sporting world

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

Urban Agriculture: Food forestry rooted in thinking of the ecosystem

Columnist dives into Okanagan urban agriculture

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Most Read