‘Take Steps’ Homelessness Simulator at the Okanagan Public Library in Kelowna, photo take by Laryn Gilmour/Black Press Media

Okanagan residents experienced a day in the life of being homeless

‘Take Steps’ Homelessness simulator experiment shows people what it’s like to be homeless for a day

Community organizations joined together to launch a homelessness simulator hosted at the Okanagan Regional Library in Kelowna on Tuesday.

“Take Steps” is an experiential program, which will launch this fall to the business sector and wider community as part of a goal to raise awareness, inspire solution-focused conversation and help find an end to chronic homelessness in Kelowna.

Community partners include Journey Home, United Way, Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs, the John Howard Society and the City of Kelowna.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s formerly homeless showing support for Journey Home project

“The goal is to give people an opportunity to walk in the shoes of someone else and experience some of the difficulties presented to people who are homeless,” executive director of John Howard Society Don Himer said.

The hour-long opportunity saw people from different businesses come together and given an identity they would have to play and struggles they had to overcome.

“I was Joseph, I have lost my wife and now am homeless. I had to go to the food bank, and without ID they sent me to another table where I would have to fill out papers to get ID. But without an ID, I wasn’t able to get very far and it felt like I was getting sent around in circles. It was very discouraging,” a participant said.

“I was trying to get ahead and was seeking help, but no one would help me in a timely fashion and it felt like I wasn’t their problem, so they sent me to the next person,” another participant of homelessness simulation said.

READ MORE: 100 Homes Penticton hosts upcoming speaker series about homelessness and housing

The United Way said the simulation project could potentially be replicated through other communities in the valley.

“Until you are put into the situation of a homeless person and you’re looking from the outside in, it’s seems like it could be an easy fix, but it’s not. It is really hard,” another participant said.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Ogopogo bathtub race fundraising efforts over the top

In five years the Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has raised over $120,000 for SOSM Foundation

Cyclist in distress prompts Hwy 3A closure

BC Air Ambulance transported the male, believed to be in his 50s, to a nearby hospital

Swimming advisory issued for Summerland beach

Bacterial counts exceed guidelines

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Renter of torched Okanagan home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Meet the Okanagan’s newest homeless outreach team

The Vernon Homeless Outreach Team makes its first formal appearance Aug. 28 at Upper Room Mission

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read