B.C. has announced that Sooke will benefit from an allocation of funding to help improve homelessness services and supports for vulnerable people in the community.
The Sooke Homelessness Coordination Project will receive $413,412 total through the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program to help improve coordination among services in the Sooke area.
The Strengthening Communities’ Services Program was created in order to give local governments and modern Treaty Nations additional capacity to address the effects of homelessness and keep their communities safe and healthy as they recover from the pandemic.
The funding from the project will be implemented through a collaborative process between partners which includes Sooke Shelter Society, Sooke Homelessness Coalition, and AVI Health, Community Services Society, and the District of Sooke.
According to the District of Sooke, the Sooke Homelessness Coordination Project will help develop community capacity to understand and address homelessness and support the identification and transition of people who are homeless into sheltered locations and supportive housing.
“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. This funding will provide our community with much-needed resources supporting those who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness,” said Sherry Thompson, Executive Director of the Sooke Shelter Society. “This will improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable people in our community and give everyone an equal chance at success. Community care improves everyone’s well-being.”
A Transition Outreach Team will be deployed through the project as well, which will be focused on providing integrated care, counselling, and harm reduction services, as well as life skills training for those transitioning to the Sooke Shelter.
“The UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services Program is responding to our call for support with homelessness,” said Maja Tait, Mayor of Sooke. “During the pandemic, we were asked to assist – which we did as a caring and compassionate community – but without additional resources. This funding provides a significant step forward for Sooke, as a community, to support unsheltered populations and address related community impacts.”
Sooke will be one of 48 communities across British Columbia that will benefit from funding through the services program.