A Trail nonprofit that helps find vulnerable locals a safe place to live can breathe a little easier with help from Columbia Basin Trust (Trust).
Running under the auspices of Trail Association for Community Living is Career Development Services (CDS), located on Bay Avenue in downtown Trail.
Their workers are critical in assisting members of the community who often fall through the cracks. Their staff run the temporary winter shelter, offer support services in the Community Inclusion Centre, teach locals job skills by helping to operate Thrifty Treasures, and very importantly, they run the Getting to Home Program.
It’s the latter service that received $27,000 from the Trust’s social grants funding stream. The money will be used to work with people experiencing homelessness, or at-risk of becoming homeless, through the development of housing plans, provision of emergency resources, and connections to various local resources the person otherwise might not know about.
“This is funding for a housing facilitator that supports individuals who have very complex issues and need that extra support to identify a realistic housing plan,” says Sheila Adcock, CDS program coordinator.
“It is becoming harder and harder to support individuals to obtain housing. This specialized position assists them to access much needed community resources and take the time to provide the specialized services they require.”
Most individuals the service helps are very low income. Adcock says almost all Trail area rentals, which have risen hundreds of dollars per month over the past few years, are out of the question for these clients.
“What happens then is individuals are having to stay in unsafe housing situations or having to move in with someone else that may not be compatible in order to combine their incomes,” she said. “This puts everyone at risk and causes undue stress on individuals that do not do well living with others.”
Getting to Home was one of 31 Basin recipients who received money from this $680,000 grant cycle.
Other successful applicants in the immediate area include the municipalities of Rossland, Warfield and Trail who jointly asked for money to fund a regional coordinator for age-friendly programs. The Trust granted $49,900 for this position, which aims to enhance community connections, social events, and engagement opportunities for seniors living in one of the three towns.
Another joint venture in Rossland and Trail called the Cycling Unlimited Society, received $17,000. This money will be used to circulate a trickshaw to senior community hubs as a way to bring people with mobility issues together and lessen social isolation.
Two West Kootenay-wide programs were also successful in their requests to the Trust. The Circle of Indigenous Nations Society received $40,000 for community outreach. The funding will be used to foster understanding of the history of Indigenous peoples by bringing cultural awareness training to various organizations throughout the region.
In support of a hunger relief initiative that runs throughout the West Kootenay, School District 20 was granted nearly $36,000. The district describes this program as supporting “school-aged children through nutrition, food literacy, and food sustainability programming to promote lifelong healthy eating habits, strengthen school food programs, and decrease disparity between food-secure and food-insecure children.”
As well, there was one Basin-wide organization on the recipient list.
ANKORS (AIDS Network, Kootenay Outreach and Support Society) a service based in Nelson, was granted $60,000 for a health promotion project. Specifically, ANKORS says the funding will be used to promote health and wellness as they relate to substance use, sexual health, mental health, and LGBTQ2+ issues within educational settings across Columbia Basin.
All 31 projects aim to improve quality of life in the Columbia Basin, focus on children’s development and strengthen social service organizations, says the Trust.
“Alongside many community organizations in the region, the Trust is dedicated to helping all people in the Basin meet their needs and access the resources that will help them address challenges and thrive in their communities,” said Aimee Ambrosone, Trust executive director, delivery of benefits.
“These projects will boost the well-being of a wide range of people by addressing a variety of social issues and opportunities.”