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Homelessness strategy gets $1.2M in Kelowna

Strategies on reducing homelessness in Canada continue to develop. The federal program, Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), is putting $1.2 million toward reducing homelessness in Kelowna between 2017 and 2019.

The HPS supports 61 different communities across Canada - rural and urban - in efforts to reduce and prevent homelessness.

According to Megaphone, more people died homeless in British Columbia in 2015, than any other year reported.

At least one person died per week, which is a 56% increase from 2014.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow

The report was released by Megaphone in 2017.

"This is a crisis on our streets that demands an emergency response," said a spokesperson for Megaphone.

The Community Advisory Board on Homelessness is partnering with the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), New Opportunities for Women Canada and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs.

The four organizations received Federal contributions under Canada's HPS.

The four organizations met the eligibility criteria with the aim to reduce homelessness through a Housing First approach, as well as improving "self-sufficiency of homeless individuals and families."

“We’re thankful for our continued partnership with the Government of Canada to improve the lives of marginalized individuals in our community through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding,” said Mia Burgess, Community Entity Coordinator for the Central Okanagan Foundation.

The Central Okanagan Foundation manages the Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding in collaboration with the Community Advisory Board on Homelessness.

“I want to thank our local providers for their ongoing efforts to address homelessness in our communities," said Stephen Fuhr, CD, MP Kelowna-Lake Country. "Our government is committed to providing communities with the financial resources they need to prevent and reduce homelessness and help secure stable housing while providing support for underlying issues, such as mental health or addiction."

In the 2017 budget, the HPS is working with the Government, stakeholders, provinces and Indigenous partners on how to work towards prevention.

The HPS was officially launched in 2007 and since then, has invested more than $750 million toward projects that prevent and reduce homelessness.

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