The United Way is inviting local agencies that assist homeless people to apply for more than $450,000 in funding to address the issue in the Cowichan Valley.
Applications are now open under two funding streams from the federal Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy for 2022-23.
Almost $400,000 has been allocated to the Cowichan Valley from the Designated Communities stream that helps support people experiencing homelessness and working to reduce homelessness, including on First Nation reserve lands.
Another $153,000 has been allocated to Duncan from the Indigenous Homelessness stream which provides funding to organizations in urban centres that offer supports to meet the unique needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who are experiencing, or at risk of homelessness off of reserve lands.
Duncan, Cowichan and Nanaimo are selected communities that receive annual Reaching Home funding, with the United Way British Columbia, Central and Northern Vancouver Island office acting as the “community entity” that administers these funds and invests them into local communities through the advisement of regional community advisory boards.
“Throughout our local communities, our on the ground agencies continue to work tirelessly to support our most vulnerable neighbours,” said Signy Madden, regional director for UWBCCNVI.
“We are grateful that with the federal government’s support, we can continue to fund this work and make a real, lasting impact.”
Madden said for people living unsheltered, the past two years has been even more challenging, and even scary.
“These individuals are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and are particularly vulnerable to the spread of the virus,” she said.
“Together we are working hard to ensure all of our neighbours are safe and supported throughout this incredibly challenging time.”
More than $750,000 has also been allocated from the Reaching Home initiative for similar programs in Nanaimo.
Reaching Home funding is available to non-profit organizations, individuals, municipal governments, for-profit enterprises; research organizations and institutes; public health and educational institutions; band/tribal councils, and others.
The application deadline for the funding is Nov. 19.
Eligible organizations are invited to learn more about Reaching Home funding by visiting uwcnvi.ca/reachinghome