Charities need more

The United Way expects need within the Central Okanagan to grow this year.

With a little more than two months to go in its current campaign, officials with the United Way of Central and South Okanagan Similkameen say social issues such as homelessness and poverty continue to increase as communities grow.

Priorities this year include spearheading the development of a Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Strategy, steering the 100 Homes Penticton initiative, and providing support for the Central Okanagan Journey Home Society.

“Every day, people in our region are struggling,” said executive director Helen Jackman.

“We see the visible plight of those who are homeless and quite rightly our community is rallying to help. But, it is all too easy to overlook the challenges faced by the working poor, regular families faced with impossible choices, youth in crisis, or older people living in isolation. We urgently need to build our Community Fund to meet these needs.”

During the past two years, the United Way's Community Fund has been oversubscribed by 50 per cent, a reflection of that growing need.

Financial donations are invested back in the community in sustainable, healthy charities that provide programs with a proven impact.

In 2018, United Way helped to improve the lives of 60,000 vulnerable individuals and families through 50 local charities.

United Way’s 2019 Community Fund is now open for applications from any local registered charity, with a deadline of March 22. Funding decisions will be confirmed in September once the campaign is tallied up.

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