Being homeless isn’t just living under a bridge

In rural communities like Clearwater, people more often experience what’s called “hidden homelessness"

Clearwater Homelessness Partnering Strategy

It would be easy to think that no one is facing homelessness here in our beautiful area but unfortunately that just isn’t true. Just because we don’t see people living on the street the way you do in Vancouver or even in Kamloops, doesn’t mean that it’s not happening here. In rural communities like Clearwater, people can more often experience what’s sometimes called “hidden homelessness,” which could mean they are staying with family or friends (couch-surfing), living in someone’s garage or outbuildings, or in hotels/motels.

Of equal concern are those who are at risk of homelessness. A common definition of at-risk homelessness is when housing is unaffordable, unsafe, unhealthy, overcrowded, insecure, inappropriate or poorly maintained, or when the support necessary to maintain stability in their lives is lacking. They may also be at risk when their income is insufficient or insecure. (from: Kamloops Homelessness Action Plan, 2011)

The Clearwater Homelessness Partnering Strategy is a new short term project administered by Yellowhead Community Services and funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The objective of this project is to capture an accurate picture of homelessness in our area and to develop a strategy to address the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. This study will not materialize into the creation of new housing; however, a needs assessment study is essential to the possibility of moving in the direction of improving housing security in this area.

In order to understand the scope of homelessness in our area, which includes Vavenby to Blackpool, we need to talk to people who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. If you would be willing to share your experiences or know someone who would, please contact Charlotte or Wendy at the Community Resource Centre, 250.674.3530 or email us at one of the addresses below. We will be talking to people during November and December with the final report for this project being submitted in January 2014.

All the information you provide will be strictly confidential and will be reported in a way that protects your identity and privacy. We will not be releasing your information to any other organization nor will any judgements be made about how you are living or what circumstances brought you there.

 

Knowledge and awareness can lead to change. Your contribution could help bring about this change.