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City one of two chosen for national youth homelessness program
Kamloops has been selected as one of two pilot communities in Canada in the Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness Program, a project focused on ending youth homelessness.
As a pilot community, Kamloops will receive national program resources in the planning and development of a youth-homelessness strategy that will be utilized not only at the local level, but as a model for other communities across Canada.
The City of Kamloops is the lead entity for Kamloops in this initiative.
The 2009 City of Kamloops Social Plan established Housing and Homelessness as one of seven priority areas for the community.
The consultation process identified youth at multiple points in the priority area. Furthermore, the Kamloops Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) lists “outreach geared specifically to youth” as a key engagement strategy.
The focus is supported by a 2011 Social Planning and Research Council of BC report that included Kamloops in a list of communities with inadequate outreach services and support for homeless youth.
The Centre for Community-Based Youth Health Research at Thompson Rivers University has also identified youth homelessness as a priority issue in our community.
Kamloops as chosen based on the work of community partnerships, committees and processes focused on addressing issues of housing and homelessness, including the Kamloops Working Group on Homelessness, the City of Kamloops, the Homelessness Action Plan initiative, the Kamloops Housing Board, Changing the Face of Poverty and the Youth Services and Housing Steering Committee.
“Our city’s success in applying to be one of only two pilot communities across Canada will help bolster and strengthen community efforts to address this significant and troubling issue,” Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar said.
“This opportunity will allow us to develop a strategy to effectively address youth homelessness and provide a model that can be used by other communities across the country."
Added Kamloops Working Group on Homelessness aboriginal co-chair Christopher Phillips: “I have high hopes that this pilot project will improve our community’s understanding, while developing and co-ordinating the housing and services needed to address aboriginal and non-aboriginal youth homelessness in our city.”