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.

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

Parksville senior donates money from condo sale to Brazil for school

Giancarlo Chitto donates close to $435,000 to help build educational facility

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Town of Qualicum Beach to sell more than $5M in real estate

Sales to pay for recent real estate purchases, including St. Andrews Lodge

U19B Rage play with heart at provincials

Parksville girls finish fourth despite giving up only four runs in five games

VIDEO: Top winners announced for sand sculpting competition

See the sculptures as they progress through the competition at Parksville Community Park

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Riptide, CVUSC paved the way for varsity soccer players

Chloe Gummer has become a leader at VIU

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals

Online retail giant extends annual ‘Prime Day’ promotion to 36 hours

Alert B.C. campers raise alarm and avert potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm camper lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC after motorhome tank is over-filled.

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan announces new Crown corporation for public works

UPDATED: Putin says he wanted Trump to win in 2016, didn’t interfere

The two leaders arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit

Most Read