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Provincial funds help Vernon respond to homelessness

City to receive more than $310,000 to create substance abuse outreach team, support homeless
The City of Vernon is receiving more than $310,000 in provincial funds Vernon to help respond to the impacts of homelessness. (Black Press -file photo

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu says people without houses will have more access to support services in Vernon as a result of provincial funding.

Vernon is receiving $312,500 to respond to the impacts of homelessness through the project COVID-19 Homelessness Bridging Program Phase II. This project will address the need for mental health supports by creating a mental health and substance use outreach team, and expand current programs that support people who are underhoused.

“We know how difficult the last two years have been on people in our communities and we know that those experiencing homelessness were among those hardest hit,” said Sandhu. “I am so grateful for this grant funding for Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Homelessness Bridging Program. This will better equip the City of Vernon to respond to the needs of members in our community with compassion and care. Not only will this support residents in need, it will help build a healthy and resilient community for everyone.”

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.

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.

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