Kelowna's new Journey Home Strategy huge step in ending homelessness
The City of Kelowna developed and approved their Journey Home Strategy this year, and in the six months since its release, Kelowna is already experiencing success. Journey Home is a five-year plan focused on ensuring everyone in the city has a place to call home. The strategy emphasizes prevention, moving folks at-risk of becoming homeless into community-based prevention supports. In preparing the strategy, Kelowna tracked over 2,000 points of engagement through community summits, design labs, public surveys and the Lived Experience Circle, ensuring an inclusive and community-driven process.
“The Journey Home Strategy reflects a collective vision grounded in the belief that all people have the right to safe and dignified housing as well as the supports required to sustain it. We know that providing homes, establishing a foundation for realizing peoples’ potential, and enabling their participation in our community in a meaningful way (both socially and economically) are key to reducing the risk of homelessness in Kelowna.”
–Excerpt from the Strategy
In the six months since the City approved the strategy, the Central Okanagan Journey Home Society became an incorporated society and hired a new Executive Director, who will lead the implementation of the strategy. The Society has raised over $900,000 so far, and Kelowna has seen around 88 new units of supportive housing built in the community.
It is projected that this strategy will see more than 2,100 individuals who were once homeless housed by 2024.
Read the strategy here.