District of Port Hardy Municipal Hall. (North Island Gazette file photo)

District of Port Hardy Municipal Hall. (North Island Gazette file photo)

Port Hardy to team up with RDMW to apply for funding to increase Salvation Army services

The funds will increase capacity in shelter beds and increase hours of service at the Salvation Army

The District of Port Hardy will be partnering with the Regional District of Mount Waddington to apply to the UBCM Strengthening Communities Fund for $112,500 to increase capacity in shelter beds and increased hours of service at the Salvation Army.

According to a staff report from Chief Administrative Officer Heather Nelson-Smith that was brought up at council’s April 12 meeting, “Within the Safe Restart funding, $100 million was allocated for the StrengtheningCommunities’ Services Program. The initial intake of the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program saw approximately $80 million delivered to local governments. The remaining funds are now available through the 2022 intake.”

It was also noted in the report that “The intent of the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program is to support unsheltered homeless populations and address related community impacts through an application-based program. The goal is to support local governments and Treaty First Nations that wish to take action, understanding that this will complement parallel provincial efforts. This program is meant to bridge the period between the COVID-19 outbreak and the post-COVID recovery period. The funding is being administered by UBCM on behalf of the Province and the Government of Canada.”

Nelson-Smith’s report went on to explain the intended outcomes of the Strengthening Communities’ Services program, which are to assist local governments and Treaty First Nations with:

Improved health and safety of unsheltered homeless people living in public or private spaces, including reduced risk of COVID-19 or other disease transmission;

Reduced community concerns about public health and safety in neighbourhoods where unsheltered homeless populations are seeking temporary shelter and services;

Improved coordination among eligible applicants and health/social service providers, Indigenous organizations and others working on housing, homelessness and service provision; and;

Increased capacity of eligible applicants to work with homeless persons and Indigenous organizations towards culturally safe and trauma-informed responses.

“The District of Port Hardy is seeking the opportunity to present this project in a regional context,” wrote Nelson-Smith. “Given that the Salvation Army provides services to the whole Mount Waddington region, the district is maximizing their funding leverage by looking to partner with the Regional District of Mount Waddington.”

She added that as in the past, “the District will manage the grant, application, reporting, invoicing and monitoring with the Salvation Army. The Regional District will provide support through a letter of confirmation of support.”

As far as the scope of the project, Nelson-Smith wrote that the District successfully received funding in the 2021-2022 fiscal year to increase shelter beds from September to April and increase capacity year-round at the Salvation Army.

“This program has been very successful. Occupancy rates have been at 100 per cent during this period, with the Salvation Army turning people away.”

Due to this, district staff proposed to apply to the UBCM for the following projects:

1. Increase shelter beds at the Salvation Army up to six up to 40 weeks; and

2. Increase the Salvation Army open hours for the year.

The motion to approve staff recommendations was passed unanimously by council.

“I think it’s a great project,” said Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HomelessnessSalvation Army

We are experiencing technical difficulties with our commenting platform and hope to be up and running again soon. In the meantime, you can still send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, or submit a letter to the editor.