Some of the latest projects taking on homelessness in Chilliwack are focused on pivoting service delivery in the age of COVID-19.
Ann Davis Transition Society, Chilliwack and District Seniors Resource Society, Ruth and Naomi’s Mission and Pacific Community Resources Society (Housing Hub) are set to share a funding pool of about $160,000.
“In January 2021, the City established that there were funds remaining from the 2020/21 COVID-19 Emergency response funds ($58,845), and unused City administration funds received for managing the Reaching Home Program in 2020/21 ($100,000), totaling $158,845, which was determined appropriate to be distributed into the community for projects to address homelessness, with a focus on COVID-19 responses.”
Since becoming eligible as designated community under the federal Reaching Home program to tackle homelessness, City of Chilliwack has been administering the $1.7 million over four years. Proposals for this funding were quickly evaluated using set criteria, according to the report to council, with an eye to principles of Housing First, which prioritize getting people housed quickly with supports, and then tackling the multiple barriers.
The 2020 Homeless Count revealed 221 people in Chilliwack who self-identified as homeless in 2017, and that number jumped to 306 people in 2020. So the projects had to line up with needs and opportunities identified in recent studies, and reach the target demographics of addressing homelessness and social issues in Chilliwack, city officials said.
Council approved the following projects:
• Ann Davis Transition Society: Satellite Site COVID Safety Renovations, $25,000
• Chilliwack and District Seniors Resource Society: Seniors Essential Support Program, $39,567
• Stólō Service Agency: COVID-19 Support Fund, $28,000
• Pacific Community Resources Society : Housing Hub Vehicle, $35,000
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