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On Monday, city staff will be seeking council’s support in applying to a provincial grant to fund e extreme temperature risk mapping, assessment, and planning initiatives.
The grant is part of the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund.
According to the staff report, the intent of the funding stream is to support eligible applicants to ensure they have “accurate” knowledge of the risks associated with extreme temperatures, how these risks will change over time, and to develop effective response plans and strategies to prepare, mitigate, and adapt to those risks.
City staff say the money would be used by the city to support an extreme cold weather plan for people sheltering outdoors this winter.
The report says over 200 people are expected to be sheltering outdoors in Kelowna during the 2023/2024 winter.
City staff explain that these people are at a higher risk of frostbite, hypothermia and “exacerbated” mental health concerns during extreme cold events.
“Mobilizing extreme cold response plans can reduce these risks,” the report says.
“Through this grant funding, the City intends to complete an Asset and Resources System Map and a subsequent Response Plan.”
In addition, the systems map would include a vulnerable population assessment while identifying existing supports and resources available to our community and demonstrate any gaps that may exist.
The project would be carried out through a collaborative effort with local community organizations that support the homeless population in Kelowna.
The grant is distributed through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) and, if successful, would require an amendment to the 2023 Financial Plan to include receipt of the funds.
The city has already taken steps to supporting the homeless population.
In January, a pilot project was rolled out, which saw the city provide thermal shelters to those who ended up sleeping outdoors.