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Kelowna Gets $2.7 Million to Combat Homelessness

The federal government is giving more than $2.7 million to the Central Okanagan Foundation to support programs that seek to reduce homelessness in Kelowna.

The Central Okanagan Foundation is receiving the money through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), and the money will be parcelled out over five years to projects that prevent and reduce homelessness in the area. Some of these projects will address the needs of Aboriginal homeless populations.

Through this $2.7 million in funding, four organizations will together get more than $739,000 over two years from the Central Okanagan Foundation.

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs will receive over $257,000 for individualized services helping youth who are homeless. These programs help increase the youths’ self-sufficiency, and you can learn more about the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs’ shelter in downtown Kelowna here.

The downtown Youth Shelter. (Photo Credit: KelownaNow)

Meanwhile, Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna and District Branch will have over $185,000 towards helping people to access resources to find and maintain housing.

Similarly, the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society will receive over $150,000 to help provide outreach services to aid people in accessing long-term housing and support services such as health care and mental health and addictions treatment.

Finally, New Opportunities for Women (NOW) Canada Society will be getting over $145,000 for two programs that give support to those recovering from addiction, abuse, and exploitation.

“We are grateful for the continued partnership opportunity with the Government of Canada to make a real difference here in the city of Kelowna,” said Cheryl Miller, Director of Grants and Community Initiatives with the Central Okanagan Foundation.

“Our Government is proud to support the Central Okanagan Foundation, as well as its local partners, and all the work they do in our communities,” said Kelowna­–Lake Country MP Ron Cannan. “With a roof over their heads, all Canadians can prosper as we work together towards eliminating homelessness.”

Funding through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy was denied this year to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission for their outreach program.

A discussion earlier this year at UBCO looked more closely at the homelessness problem in Kelowna.

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