The housing facilitator at Career Development Services (CDS) in Trail meets with, on average, 100 people each year.
That is 100 individuals who are either homeless, episodically homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless with an eviction notice in hand. The demographic includes single mothers with infants, families and youth.
CDS’ recent $33,500 grant from Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) – to provide augmented and individualized support to community members experiencing acute housing needs – will help “Getting to Home” staff deal with the every-growing list of people in need.
“One of the biggest obstacles within the community is finding safe and affordable housing that is suitable for habitat,” says Gail Pighin, CDS’ data management coordinator.
“The GTH (Getting to Home) program has identified a need within the community for a supportive-type of housing facility which requires on-site supports for those individuals most struggling to maintain housing due to significant and concurrent health issues,” she explained.
“CDS recently opened a four-unit house with built in supports which was an instant success, but it definitely highlighted the need for other similar housing to be implemented within the community.”
The grant will be used specifically to deal with the individuals who are consistently homeless based on a number of issues such an ongoing and significant illness.
“The unique supports required to house those select few individuals who are very ill and often living in a state of homelessness goes beyond the scope of the current part time GTH housing facilitator,” Pighin said.
“The Trust funding will be utilized to put in place an interim Support Worker who can focus their attention primarily to those who need those extra supports and advocating.”
Also included in the Trust’s $965,000 grant cycle is the West Kootenay Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation.
Run from Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre – but open to youth throughout the West Kootenay – the program received $30,000 to deliver adventure-based alternative education that integrates clinical therapy and counselling.
The goal is to increase the rate of graduation for youth at-risk of leaving the mainstream school system before completing their high school diploma in the West Kootenay area.
In all, 17 projects were approved that “aim to improve the lives of Columbia Basin residents by addressing social issues.”
“Through projects like these, the Trust is supporting the efforts of community organizations to help Basin residents address challenges, and improve the quality of their lives,” said Aimee Ambrosone, Trust Director, Delivery of Benefits. “We applaud the tremendous dedication that people in our region put into aiding others—and we’re glad we can be there to support their efforts.”