100 More Homes Penticton looks back at 2023 as achieving key milestones in fight against homelessness

100 More Homes reflects

In a tough year of soaring housing costs, low rental vacancy rates, and the toxic drug crisis, 100 More Homes (100MH) Penticton is looking back at what growth they've achieved in 2023.

In a press release issued on Friday, 100MH said they continue to work towards fostering a community where every resident has access to stable, safe, and permanent housing

With the organization releasing its 2023 Year in Review, a key milestone highlighted in the report is the provision of an Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) for vulnerable people during the coldest days of the year.

"Operating from December until March, the 40-bed Emergency Weather Response (EWR) shelter at 1704 Government Street served as a crucial lifeline, made possible through a collaborative effort between the City of Penticton, BC Housing, and the Penticton and Area Overdose Prevention Society," they shared.

The shelter also hosted Interior Health (IH) services on site, available to EWS clients throughout its operating hours.

"IH reports that many people were treated for wound care, outreach teams utilized the EWS site to connect with
hard-to-reach clients and helped ensure health services were consistent. In addition, IH teams used the
EWS site to conduct check ins on people who had completed treatment within the IH network."

In April 2023, 100 More Homes Penticton, representing a coalition of over 27 organizations, started working with the City of Penticton and BC Housing, advocating for early planning to mitigate the impact of extreme weather events on vulnerable populations.

Linda Sankey, Co-Chair of 100 More Homes Penticton, commended the collective effort.

“The Emergency Weather Response shelter exemplifies the power of community partnership in addressing complex social challenges," she said in the press release.

The 2023 Point in Time count, which is a report snapshot of people who are living unhoused in a 24-hour period, revealed 166 Penticton residents are experiencing homelessness, which only showcases the urgent need for expanded housing services.

100MH said this is particularly presented for the Indigenous community, whose numbers continue to grow disproportionately.

Work was also done last year in long-term planning to combat chronic homelessness and the creation of formalized data coordination and sharing.

"Notable achievements include the formation of two outreach partnership teams and amendments to the Official City Plan (OCP), all aimed at enhancing support for the unhoused population."

Tanya Behardien, 100MH Co-Chair, said the collaborative spirit is whats driving progress.

“By leaning on one another’s strengths, holding space for difficult conversations, understanding the challenges of a complex system and the passion for delivering innovative solutions to the problem, we have experienced the most integrative approach that the Penticton community has seen in recent years.”

Throughout 2023, the 100MH collective has seen over 13 successful partnerships develop in the Penticton community, bringing total membership to over 27 active organizations, including local non-profit service providers, municipal partners, health authorities, and community champions.

"United Way BC is proud to be the backbone organization to the 100 More Homes Penticton collective and
is keen to continue this impactful work in creating healthy, caring and inclusive communities."

The full 100 More Homes Penticton 2023 Year in Review can be found online here.

More Penticton News