The City of Kamloops is the recipient of a $1,509,400 Strengthening Communities Services grant, which will go toward new services and the continuation of other vital outreach and supports for people in our community who are experiencing homelessness.
The program, which is administered through the Union of BC Municipalities on behalf of the Province and the Government of Canada, has invested $100 million in BC communities over the past two years to support unsheltered homeless populations and address related community impacts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This funding will address urgent and immediate community needs related to homelessness in Kamloops and help our City’s most vulnerable people,” said Ty Helgason, the City’s Social and Community Development Supervisor. “It will allow us to continue to work collaboratively with local service providers to increase public safety and provide direct services, such as transportation, peer support, and employment, to those experiencing homelessness.”
This year’s funding will go toward:
- continuing shuttle services to and from shelters
- increasing the number of Community Service Officers who work with local outreach workers to provide unsheltered homeless individuals consistent information and access to care
- increasing security services that contribute to improved safety and reduction of community concerns
- continuing the Sharps Recovery Peer Program, which offers supportive employment to people with lived experience of homelessness
- facilitating community meetings that include social service, Indigenous, government, business, neighbourhood, and City representatives to focus on collaborative approaches to community safety
- developing educational videos that feature peers with lived or living experience of homelessness to help educate the community and reduce stigma
“These activities provide responses to address unsheltered homelessness in Kamloops and are designed to be able to wind down or transition to other funding sources over time,” said Mayor Ken Christian. “They have been prioritized based on consultation with social and safety service providers, businesses, community representatives, and front-line staff.”
In 2021, the City received $1,469,633 in grant funding from the Strengthening Communities Services Program, which was focused on:
- increasing security and hiring additional Community Services Officers
- training City representatives and other emergency and enforcement service providers on providing culturally safe and trauma-informed responses
- implementing peer support training and employment opportunities for people with lived experience