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Funding awarded to address homelessness in Comox Valley
Building capacity is about sustainable solutions that will last long after the funding has been spent to address barriers of the homeless and those vulnerable to homelessness.
Over the past two years, the Comox Valley Regional District has received funding from the Vancouver Island Health Authority to build capacity to address homelessness.
The task force received nearly $115,000 of the funding, with $75,000 earmarked for granting to community initiatives.
“We are all affected by homelessness, so we in the Comox Valley are fortunate to receive the attention of the Vancouver Island Health Authority to help address the growing need in our community,” says task force chair Ronna-Rae Leonard.
Funding has been awarded as follows: $2,500 to the AHERO Event Committee for the Your Valley Frontline Resource Fair scheduled for Oct. 11; $7,500 to the Denman Community Land Trust Association for the Rural Affordable Housing Project; and $65,000 to a joint application from Dawn to Dawn, AIDS Vancouver Island, Comox Valley Transition Society and Wachiay Friendship Centre for the Comox Valley Community Capacity Initiative Project.
Recipients will produce a final report and a public presentation at the end of the projects.
“Over and over again, we have been advised that the best way to be successful in getting housing built in the Comox Valley is to speak with one voice,” says Leonard.
The Task Force is committed to achieving that united voice to meet the full range of housing needs. The Building Capacity to Address Homelessness Grant Program is one of the many ways that the Task Force aims to facilitate this goal.
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Your Valley Frontline Resource Fair is intended to remove barriers to accessing services (like transportation, low literacy, fear, communication challenges, lack of phone or internet), by providing direct interaction between the homeless and those in need of housing with helping agencies at the 3 hour event.
It will also provide a free bbq (provided by the Salvation Army), hot beverages, clothing, haircuts and hygeine supplies as well as 90 grocery gift cards. Later, 2 hours are reserved for interagency networking.
The Rural Affordable Housing Project intends to support the mandate of the Agricultural Land Commission to support farm families and enhance the integrity and sustainability of agriculture, by working collaboratively with the ALC to establish terms and a framework for contracted farm plans with criteria for acceptable affordable rural housing/farm plans. The goal is to create a template for housing options for low income individuals and families who are committed to farming and rural living, and safeguard the viability of the Agricultural Land Reserve.
– Comox Valley Housing Task Force