Resources drying up in Lumby

A Lumby social agency is strapped for cash and that has politicians demanding action.

A Lumby social agency is strapped for cash and that has politicians demanding action.

Members of village council recently met with Mary McNeil, children and family development minister, to discuss ongoing financial challenges at the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre.

“They need core funding and if they don’t get it, programs could be cut,” said Mayor Kevin Acton.

Acton says there is an immediate need for the provincial government to fund the centre adequately.

“They are the social fiber of the community,” he said of the centre, which offers numerous programs.

“Without them, residents from the area will have to go to Vernon for social services.”

Among the programs offered are family support, adult counselling, home and school support, seniors drop-in, recreation equipment, water restoration, employment initiatives for youth, child care referrals and the Good Food Box program.

Gay Jewitt, Whitevalley Community Resource Centre executive director, says agencies in small and large communities face the same pressures of rent, insurance and salaries.

“Comparable funding isn’t necessarily given to small towns because of the lower population, yet we are still expected to provide the same services as the larger cities only on a smaller budget,” she said in a letter to council.

“This year, we have once again trimmed the operating budget as much as possible and yet even with fundraising, we will be faced with a $20,000 deficit and be forced to dip into our reserve. At this rate, our reserve will be depleted in a two-year period.”

The centre’s budget for community-based activities is $750,000 to $800,000 a year.

Jewitt says wages at the centre are about 20 per cent lower than in neighbouring communities and the benefit plan for staff is inadequate.

“We risk losing well-trained, qualified staff to other agencies,” she said.

“Our core funding continues to be insufficient and it will be a challenge to keep our doors open in the future.”

The current situation is of great concern for Rick Fairbairn, a centre board member.

“Having funds for the organization is critical,” said Fairbairn, who is also rural Lumby director for the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Fairbairn says Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster is aware of the problem and he is hopeful that the government will increase funding levels.

“It’s an important service for the community to deal with the social problems we have.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GALLERY: Vernon painter captures beauty of Davison Orchards in new series

In a new painting, card series, artist Patricia Lawton was inspired by resident dog, Harlow

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Car show a hit at Vernon retirement resort

GALLERY: No drooling over the classic cruisers parked at Parkwood Retirement Resort

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter

Nicola Sanders hopes to spread the word to get Nala home to her son, the rightful owner

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

Most Read