Cash a welcome sight for Alberni homeless advocates

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District announced they were distributing $285,000 to five local agencies to help with the homelessness issue.

Port Alberni Shelter Society director Wes Hewitt and the board can start drawing up plans for a new facility to replace the one the shelter has outgrown on Eighth Avenue.

The homeless issue in Port Alberni got a shot in the arm this week and more help could be on the way.

On Monday, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District announced they were distributing $285,000 to five local agencies to help with the homelessness issue.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority underwrote the initiative with a one-time grant.

The ACRD engaged the Community Stakeholders Initiative to End Homelessness (CSI) to quarterback drawing up criterion and making recommendations about allocating the money.

At $95,500, the largest recipient of funds was the Port Alberni Shelter Society. The grant is to be used for pre-design services and a schematic design for a new facility.

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation received $85,000. The Port Alberni Friendship Centre was awarded $47,500 for a tenant advocacy project.

And $16,600 went to the West Coast Women’s Resource Society for a Homeless outreach enhancement project.

The groups are all members of the CSI, which is more of an ad-hoc group as opposed to a formally structured one.

Proposals were solicited by CSI in the spring and criteria included having an objective related to homelessness, a clear objective achievable in one year, and a broad impact.

The money may have been awarded to individual groups, but the impact will be wider.

“They have a broad reaching impact that benefits the Valley and the West Coast,” ACRD chief administrative officer Russell Dyson said.

“The benefits are anywhere from day-to-day needs like linen to an expanded facility to help alleviate homelessness.”

While only five groups have been awarded grants, everybody won, shelter director Wes Hewitt said. “We’re not rubbing our hands and saying “oh boy, we got it”,” he said. “We’re all members of CSI and we’re all dealing with the homelessness issue on a common front.”

The grant enables the shelter to take another step in its journey towards building a new facility. The existing facility has outgrown its current location on Eighth Avenue and the society would like to build a bigger place across the street.

Work on the schematic will start as soon as possible. The finished product will serve as a guide from which a hard dollar value can be extrapolated.

Despite the grant, the society faces the even tougher challenge of lobbying for building funds.

“The process can take four to five years,” Hewitt said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Hay bales and high fives for Port Alberni soapbox derby

New track on Lower Argyle Street gets a thumbs up

Brush fire breaks out near Taylor Arm Park

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 west of Port Alberni

Rosalind Chapman seeks seat on Port Alberni city council

Community volunteer and longtime Alberni Valley resident Rosalind Chapman will seek a… Continue reading

Accident causes power outage on Beaver Creek Road

One sent to West Coast General Hospital in crash

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Most Read