Eric Foster (centre)

Eric Foster (centre)

Vernon’s Upper Room Mission gets $100,000

The provincial funding will allow the non-profit to keep open throughout the day

An infusion of cash will help Vernon residents most in need.

The provincial government presented $100,000 to the Upper Room Mission Tuesday to ensure the agency can remain open in between meals weekdays.

“It allows us to continue services,” said Rick Lavin, executive director.

Earlier this year, URM didn’t receive an anticipated $100,000 B.C. Gaming grant and that meant there weren’t the staffing resources to keep the facility open to clients in between meals. That resulted in concerns within the community about loitering and other problems downtown.

Federal funding led to two students being hired during the summer but that program has now come to an end.

The $100,000 received from the province Tuesday is transitional as government policies are reviewed.

“We’re looking at gaming right across the board,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA.

“We want the ministry people to have a good idea of the needs in the community.”

It’s believed URM lost the $100,000 earlier this year because it didn’t fit gaming criteria.

Foster says that whether future funding comes from gaming or another source, he wants to ensure URM can continue to operate.

“They do a tremendous job for the community,” he said.

Lavin hopes there will be long-term access to funding.

“The government has been good for us. We’ve worked with Mr. Foster and the government,” said Lavin,

“Eric really supports this place and he’s here all of the time. I have full confidence he’s representing us.”