Plans for women’s housing stall

Proposed housing for women at risk has hit a stumbling block.

Non-profit agencies had identified a location for a 10-bed transitional housing complex for women but government financing is currently unavailable.

“We couldn’t get the funding for a co-ordinator’s position and we weren’t able to move forward,” said Annette Sharkey, Partners in Action co-ordinator.

“But our group is not giving up.”

The proposal would have provided a level of housing in between the local homeless shelter and women moving into commercial housing.

Programs would be available for the women to address a number of issues, including for those who may have addiction issues or are sex trade workers.

Sharkey believes transitional housing must be a priority if women at risk are going to become full members of society.

“This is a major issue in our community and our group is looking at what other partnerships could be put together,” she said.

“Eventually funding will flow again so it’s important for agencies to work on the plans.”

A recent evaluation of the local homelessness strategy also indicates that there is a need for enhanced infrastructure.

“There is a gap in transitional housing for women, youth and seniors (the emerging homeless) that needs to be addressed,” said Ted Treller, a Vernon consultant who conducted the review.

“A detox centre/service continues to be a critical unfilled need for Vernon and the North Okanagan.”

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