Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Kamloops Day 1
The first day of our Okanagan consultation included reports on how serious homelessness is in the Kamloops area, as well as some of the successes service providers and the city have had in their work with homeless people.
We were shocked and saddened to hear that a Kamloops resident who was homeless died within the last few weeks as a result of spending the night in cold weather.
Again and again we are hearing that the creation of additional low rental housing units is only the first step. One city staff member reminded us that improvements for homeless people must be "sustainable". This means two things. First, temporary and emergancy shelter are only short term stop gaps. Second, supports have to be in place on an ongoing basis so that homeless people can be successful in long term housing.
We look forward to our day tomorrow in Kelowna.