Chilliwack is set to benefit from $1.7 million in new funding aimed at helping the homeless.
In a news release Thursday morning (Aug. 12), NDP MLAs Dan Coulter (Chilliwack) and Kelli Paddon (Chilliwack-Kent) said provincial and federal money will help vulnerable people better access local services.
Among the projects that will go forward in partnership with local non-profits are the Chilliwack Community Integration Initiative and a Peer Employment Initiative. The former is designed to get people who aren’t accessing services now connected to those services. The latter is designed to provide employment opportunities to people who are homeless.
“Anyone facing a crisis like homelessness deserves to have a safe place to turn where they will be supported by their community,” said Dan Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack. “The pandemic has put pressure on Chilliwack’s front-line services and our New Democrat government recognizes that these services need a boost to meet the needs of people. By working together and taking care of one another, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient.”
The investment in Chilliwack is part of the Strengthening Communities Program, which was announced in February and is providing support to 48 communities across B.C.
Over $76 million is being spent to help local governments combat the impacts of homelessness and keep their communities safe and healthy.
“This past year has brought a lot of difficulty for everyone, and this is especially true for people in our community experiencing homelessness,” Paddon said. “Our government is committed to supporting people as we work to recover from the pandemic. This funding will help ensure the vital services that vulnerable people rely on continue to be there when they need them.”
According to the news release, programming is also aimed at “reducing community fears related to unhoused people,” and may include community liaising to engage local businesses, residents and people experiencing homelessness, along with increased bylaw and RCMP presence.