It's going to take $47 million, six years to end homelessness in Kelowna: Journey Home task force - InfoNews

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It's going to take $47 million, six years to end homelessness in Kelowna: Journey Home task force

Homeless bottle pickers gather on Kirschner Road in Kelowna, April 24, 2018
May 03, 2018 - 2:05 PM

KELOWNA - It’s going to take six years and $47 million dollars to take control of homelessness in Kelowna, according to the Journey Home task force.

The task force says about 5,000 people need help with housing in the city, including 150 or so chronically homeless, another 200 who experience episodic homelessness, some 1,600 who are in transition and a further 2,900 Kelowna residents who are at high risk of homelessness.

Those numbers are contained within draft recommendations from the task force which has been working on the plan for the last two years.

To reach the goal of functional zero homelessness, it is going to take an estimated $18 million in capital investment, $26 million for new housing support and another $2.6 million for coordination and administration, the report says.

Some 300 supportive housing units are needed, the report notes, with 88 units already in the works and discussions with B.C. Housing on an additional 102 units.

Journey Home estimates $18 million will be needed to provide three more permanent buildings containing an additional 110 units.

Another $26 million will be needed over the next five years to provide 500 new program spaces for rapid rehousing and homelessness prevention.

The bulk of the funding will come from the provincial and federal governments however the city will need to provide some staff resources as the Journey Home task force replaces itself with neutral “backbone” organization that will provide ongoing coordination.

Initial funding of $375,000 is needed over the next three years to pay for temporary staff to support the social development manager as the strategy moves forward.

Draft recommendations from the task force will be presented to Kelowna council at the public council meeting, 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 7 in Kelowna city hall.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

News from © iNFOnews, 2018

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