Forum in Courtenay will examine homelessness, other issues

The Comox Valley Housing Task Force will host a forum on homelessness, access to affordable housing and healthy communities.

The Comox Valley Housing Task Force (CVHTF) will host a forum on issues related to homelessness, access to affordable housing and healthy communities.

The forum is being staged through a partnership with the Comox Valley Regional District and the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI).

“The Comox Valley Housing Task was formed two years ago to address the issues in our community related to affordable housing and homelessness and the struggle many people have in accessing housing and shelter that is affordable and safe. The forum in the Fall will be an opportunity to bring many groups together for an open discussion and learning opportunity,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, CVHTF chair.

The forum Oct. 16 at the Filberg Centre in Courtenay will include expert speakers in the field of homelessness and affordable housing, engage the public on the issues, as well as look for feedback and participation from the community.

The forum hopes to engage the community, local stakeholders and government on the importance of increasing awareness of the connection between adequate housing and personal well-being.

“One of United Way’s three focus areas for funding is healthy communities and access to affordable housing is a key component of that,” said Signy Madden, UWCNVI executive director.

“Homelessness is an issue in the Comox Valley and many factors can contribute to different states of homelessness, including inadequate access to rental properties, food insecurity and people living below the Low Income Cut Off line. We are partnering with Housing Task Force to help generate working solutions to build a stronger community.”

Funding for the forum is from the Comox Valley Housing Task Force and the BC Healthy Communities Fund. United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island is supporting the project, as well as assisting with the evaluation process.

For updates on the forum, visit www.cvhousing.ca.

UWCNVI improves lives and builds community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. Since 1958 UWCNVI has help strengthen the communities it serves.

Because of the generosity of donors and volunteers, UWCNVI is able to fund 44 charities supporting 49 programs for children, youth and seniors in Central Island, the Comox Valley and Campbell River this year.

UWCNVI also manages the Success by Six early childhood development programs throughout the Central and Northern Island and plays a part in working to reduce homelessness by being the Community Entity for Nanaimo’s Homelessness Strategy.

United Way’s Better at Home program to help keep seniors living at home will begin in Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Hardy, Comox Valley and Port Alberni in 2013.

— United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island

 

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