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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents speak out against proposed Parksville affordable housing development

Environment a primary concern; land is largely on a 200-year-old floodplain away from city centre

‘Epic sky palace’: Parksville businesses grant wish for young boy recovering from cancer

Eleven-year-old Kai Hennessey receives treehouse of his dreams

PQB crime report: RCMP on hunt for prowler, counterfeiters, car thieves

Police received 203 complaints the week of Dec. 29 to Jan. 4

Power lines cut as thieves strike Parksville veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read