Prince George and Northern BC groups are receiving a much-needed boost when tackling the issue of homelessness in the province.
Last week, the government announced over 6-million dollars in funding to the Social Planning and Research Council of BC for a Homelessness Community Action Grant to help cities address the issue.
Spokesperson, Lorraine Copas told Vista Radio the current homeless population and the issue surrounding affordable housing goes hand-in-hand.
“There is such a critical shortage of affordable housing and I think that people who are low-income often get pushed to the margins and as we increased demand for that housing those who don’t have the resources have the least ability to compete.”
She adds getting more like-minded units built could gradually decrease the number.
“And that is absolutely essential to help bring the numbers down by sometimes people just don’t have access to doing their laundry or taking a shower that can just make a difference.”
Copas commended the work being done by those across the north in trying to address this long-standing problem, especially in Prince George where the number of homeless people living in the downtown core seems to be spiking upward but admits more assistance is needed to put a dent into the figures.
“We saw that communities were doing a lot on the front lines but are there more they could do if they had access to a bit of funding? The idea is that the demonstration research and projects that would come out of this grant will help communities identify ways to build that long-term supply that’s needed but meet that crisis taking place right now.”
SPARC BC will award the one-time grant to successful applicants where they can receive anywhere between 10 and 75-thousand dollars in funding.
The organization would like to make the sign-up process as easy as possible.
“We are trying to keep it open, we are trying to keep it minimum administration as for what people have to fill out around the details cause we know there is a lot of knowledge and understanding already in the community and ours is to just get it angled in the right way,” added Copas.
For a link to the application form, click here.