During a period of all-time high housing prices, Nanaimo’s homeless population continues to grow.
According to United Way, Central & Northern Vancouver Island, a new program will be developed over the next year called the “Coordinated Access System,” to help those experiencing homelessness. It’s stated that the system will help “people facing homelessness access assistance in a coordinated and standardized way, which connects them with the support they need and places them into housing more efficiently”.
The funds are going to be coming from the ‘Government of Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy’. As part of the investment, the CAS must be open by March 31st, 2022.
$775,000 dollars was allocated for various homelessness programs in Nanaimo, as well as the CAS.
Nanaimo agencies such as; the Canadian Mental Health Association, Nanaimo Region John Howard Society, Idea Camp Communications, Society for Equity, Inclusion & Advocacy, and Tillicum Lelum will all be receiving a portion of the money.
$217,925 will be going towards the ‘Indigenous Homelessness funding stream’, which is meant to meet the specific ‘needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness’.
The remaining $558,147 will be funnelled into the ‘Designated Communities funding stream’, which is more general.
The Nanaimo Homeless Coalition says that the $775,000 will be going to services such as “supportive housing, programs for young Indigenous mothers, tenancy support services and community outreach”.