New grants aim to help address local homelessness

The BC Government wants to empower grass roots organizations to tackle poverty in their own communities.

The province has partnered with the Social Planning and Research Council of BC to distribute 6 million dollars in Homelessness Community Action Grants over the next three years.

Local groups will be able to apply for funding to enact projects in their own towns and cities with the goal of reducing homelessness.

"We know that homelessness is a challenge in communities across the province" said Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson. "But we also know the challenge in Vancouver is different from the the challenge in Cranbrook and we will need to respond to it with solutions that are based, I believe, in local input."

The grant is just one of many measures outlined in the province's first poverty reduction strategy: TogetherBC. The end goal of the 5-year strategy is to reduce overall homelessness in BC by 25 percent and cut child poverty in half.

"Homelessness is not a simple problem. There is not a simple or a single solution to address it. It will require the continued expansion of programs to create a stronger support system."