$3.2M to be spent on improving outdoor sheltering spaces for Kelowna’s homeless | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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$3.2M to be spent on improving outdoor sheltering spaces for Kelowna’s homeless

This was Kelowna's first campground for the homeless in the fall of 2019. A new site is getting major funding to improve conditions for those sleeping outdoors.
August 12, 2021 - 12:00 PM

A $3.2 million grant will be used to add personal storage space to the City of Kelowna’s outdoor campground for the homeless and provide other services.

The grant was announced by the city today, Aug. 12.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis, a challenging housing market, and lack of affordable housing have added complexity to the housing landscape in the last year and contributed to the dynamic nature of homelessness,” Mayor Colin Basran said in a news release.

“This grant is yet another example of all levels of government working together to improve conditions for Kelowna residents experiencing homelessness, and specifically for those individuals sheltering outside.”

The grant will reimburse the city’s costs to design and build the current camping area in the North End of downtown as well as adding storage space.

It will be shared by PEOPLE Employment Services, Metro Community, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society and the Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna for ongoing operation of the site and to provide services to those living rough.

An awareness campaign will also be launched in an effort to reduce the stigma of homelessness.

The grant comes through the Union of B.C. Municipalities Strengthening Communities’ Services Program which is funded by both the federal and provincial governments.

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