B.C. is helping the homeless

What I can do is share facts on homelessness that are based on research, implementation and the hard work of our government.

  • Nov. 24, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Homelessness is a complex and challenging issue.
 Firstly, it is difficult to respond to a fabricated, fictional story, such as John Harding’s editorial on Nov. 5. But, what I can do is share facts on homelessness that are based on research, implementation and the hard work our government and community partners are doing to tackle the issue here and across the province.

While it may not be known widely, through my constituency office we have successfully helped several homeless individuals and families who were living in our parks and campgrounds, or fleeing an abusive relationship, or were under threat of becoming homeless.

Finding appropriate housing, accessing income assistance, addressing medical issues, sharing direction for employment opportunities and connecting with the school district, counselling services and food resources just scratch the surface of how I help my constituents access the resources available to them.

In Parksville and Qualicum Beach, our government invested more than $1.3 million in 2014/15 alone to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 520 households. During the same one year period, we invested $27,000 in emergency shelter and housing for the homeless in the region.

That local funding is just part of the $213 million provided last year to support more than 13,200 emergency shelter spaces across B.C., as well as subsidized units and rent supplements for people who were homeless.

Our efforts are making a difference. Today we have more than twice as many provincially subsidized housing units, rent supplements and shelter spaces as we did in 2006. These are crucial resources to help the homeless, as well as those who are at risk of homelessness.

No one is denying more work must be done. We will build on the hard work that has already been accomplished and continue to partner with non-profit groups, municipalities and the private sector to help provide housing and other supports to people in need.

I care about all my constituents, and if you or someone you know is homeless or threatened with homelessness, please come by the office, call 250-248-2625 or e-mail Michelle.Stilwell.MLA@leg.bc.ca for immediate assistance.

Michelle Stilwell, MLA Parksville-QualicumMinister of Social Development and Social InnovationParksville

Just Posted

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

Hannes Grosse, left, and Iris Steigemann, right, as they prepared for their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit. The father-daughter duo are showing at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach until June 26. (Submitted photo)
Cortes Island artists exhibit at Qualicum Beach’s TOSH in first father-daughter show

Both artists will be present at shows on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26

The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get more funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo. (Submitted Photo)
More PQB communities to fund Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society

RDN to introduce amendment to service bylaw contribution

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read