CAMPBELL RIVER– New Democrat MLA Michele Babchuk says that people who are unhoused will have more access to support services in communities across the North Island as a result of provincial funding.
“These investments are so important to support North Island communities in their response to homelessness, while prioritizing the needs of vulnerable populations,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for the North Island. “With these investments, all residents can benefit from community led projects and services.”
The Strathcona Regional District, in Partnership with Campbell River, is receiving $382,300 to respond to the impacts of homelessness through the project Strathcona 2022-23 Unsheltered Homelessness Response. This project will extend programs that have already been established but have seen an increased demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs provide support for unsheltered individuals by helping increase food access, medical support, and social services, while assisting different organizations in working together to build a coordinated and community-led approach that prioritizes health and safety of the community.
The Mount Waddington Regional District, in partnership with Port Hardy, is also receiving $111,698 through the project Supporting the North Island’s Vulnerable Population. This program will help fund additional year-round shelter beds in Port Hardy to keep people safe and provide temporary shelter during the winter months. It will also provide support for the Salvation Army to provide increased services including laundry support, health services, legal aid, and more.
The BC New Democrat government is investing more than $15 million into projects in 44 communities as part of the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program. This funding stream supports local governments and modern Treaty Nations in building additional capacity to address the needs of unsheltered people in their communities, while also keeping people safe and healthy.
The projects will include services such as outreach and mental health supports, creating new temporary shelters for people experiencing homelessness, and expanding shelter availability during potential extreme weather events through the program’s second intake. This investment is in addition to the $76 million provided to local governments and modern Treaty Nations through this program in 2021.
The Strengthening Communities Services Program is open to all municipalities, regional districts, Islands Trust and modern Treaty Nations in B.C. It is administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.