New committee struck to deal with homelessness

Campbell River has a new committee that has the mission to improve services to some of the most vulnerable folks in our community, those living without a secure home.

The committee is called Homes First, based on the core belief in a social policy called Housing First. Housing First approaches are based on the concept that a homeless individual or household’s first and primary need is to obtain stable housing, and that other issues that may affect the household can be addressed once housing is obtained.

The Homes First committee was formed by social service providers who had previously served on the City’s Homelessness Coalition and who felt that they would be more productive on their own. When these members resigned from the Campbell River Homelessness Coalition the City chose to discontinue the Coalition. The City of Campbell River recently commissioned a homeless count. Another comprehensive count was conducted by the Campbell River Homelessness Task Force in 2011. At a town hall meeting that was held during that process, it was very clearly stated by a few homeless folk in attendance that what they wanted to see was “action, any action, not another survey.”

Homes First meets monthly to consider gaps in services and cause “action” on these gaps. Some needs identified include transitional supported housing for men and couples similar to Rose Harbour, storage lockers, washroom and laundry facilities, access to fresh water, drop in space and a free camping zone.

If you would like to join the committee in its work or want more information about the committee activities, email aeh@annelmorehouse.ca.