For Immediate Release – October 12, 2012

NANAIMO BUILDS CAPACITY TO END HOMELESSNESS

City allocates funding to 8 projects

NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA:

In 2012 the Vancouver Island Health Authority provided funding to communities across the Island to address the issue of homelessness.  The Regional District of Nanaimo received funding and allocated $196,000 to the City of Nanaimo.  On October 1, 2012 Nanaimo City Council approved funding allocations to 8 organisations; the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, the John Howard Society, Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre, Volunteer Nanaimo, 7-10 Breakfast Club, People for a Healthy Community, Community Kitchens and Nanaimo’s Working Group on Homelessness.  Projects funded include an emergency cold wet weather winter shelter for the homeless, a supported housing project for Aboriginal young mothers, a free breakfast program, emergency dental care for homeless individuals, food and housing supports for those at risk of homelessness and a basic cooking and nutrition skills training program.

Nanaimo’s Working Group on Homelessness co-chair, Paul Glassen, stated: ”Each of these projects will have an extraordinary impact on the individuals who access these services, and we are honoured to contribute in our own small way to ameliorating the distress experienced by those who are without permanent shelter in our community.”  He added that “the allocations fit very well with all the other services and facilities addressing homelessness in Nanaimo and the surrounding region.”

Nanaimo’s Mayor, John Ruttan, agrees; “It is critical that the social service sector in our community be provided the resources to do what they do best: helping those in need to meet basic needs like food and shelter, while developing pathways to greater self sufficiency and improved health outcomes.”

Joe Stanhope, Chair of the Regional District of Nanaimo, commented that “with the support of our partners at VIHA and the City of Nanaimo we are making headway in developing and implementing a cohesive regional response to an important social issue affecting all our communities.  We are pleased at the outcomes of the allocation process and are confident that these organisations will deliver exceptional value in providing assistance to the homeless and those at high risk of becoming homeless.”

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