Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says the recent strategies his city has been using to fight homelessness would most likely work in larger cities as well.
The city’s new homelessness transition project, dubbed ‘Journey Home’ is Kelowna’s 5-year strategy to ensure a coordinated and easy-to-access system of care for those in Kelowna who have lost, or are at risk of losing their home.
“I actually do think that there is potential for perhaps larger, metro municipalities in our country to perhaps look at it and follow suit,” says Basran.
The strategy proposes a list of 35 specific actions to be implemented over the five-year span, including the addition of 300 long-term supportive housing units. The new units will be made available primarily to support people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness with more complex needs. According to a Kelowna-based report from PIT Count, which accumulated data from local shelters, homelessness in the city had increased 20% between 2016 and 2018, which is a trend Basran and his council are trying to curb.