There has been some anxiety since word came in June that tenants at the Green Valley Motel would be evicted by Aug. 31.
Questions have revolved about where these individuals would go and what, if any, impact this may have on the community at large.
However, instead of just sitting on the sidelines and waiting to see what may happen, leadership has been shown by key social agencies in Vernon.
“The service provider community does expect that a number of people will be homeless when the Green Valley Motel closes,” said Annette Sharkey, with the Social Planning Council.
These agencies have reached out and demonstrated not only co-operation among themselves but compassion towards individuals facing uncertainty.
Local residents have also stepped up to the plate.
“The community is rallying around the John Howard Society and its shelter services, as we expect it will feel the most pressure. B.C. Housing has provided extra resources and the Gateway Shelter will have the ability to open their mat program in the basement if there is a rush on shelter beds,” said Sharkey.
At this point, only a few tenants have sought housing assistance, with the remainder tackling the issue themselves. And that isn’t unexpected as many people prefer to be independent and make their own choices.
But what’s positive is knowing that the John Howard Society, the Social Planning Council and other organizations are there if help is ultimately needed.
Vernon and the North Okanagan are a stronger place to live when everyone pulls together and ensures the community is inclusive and caring.