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Kelowna  

Mission helps find homes

It's been a record breaking summer at Kelowna's Gospel Mission.

The Mission has helped more than 100 people find a home to call their own.

"We're an emergency shelter, not a long term shelter. As long as a client is willing, we work to support them in connecting with community partners, using a client-centered approach and best practices,” explains case worker Chris Moffat.

According the the Mission, they assist over 600 new clients each year by creating a pro-active long term plan of support for clients which includes ensuring all their needs are met.

Communications director, Ami Catriona says that for many of their clients getting that housing is the last step before full independence.

“This achievement is especially impressive considering the barriers facing clients. Barriers include the cost of housing in Kelowna, and the extremely low vacancy rate. Ministry Assistance is $610/month, which allows for $375 for shelter and $235 for food and bills. Clients often must find friends to share the cost.”

She adds that often a lack of references or credit, not to mention clients dealing with mental health issues or overcoming addictions can be obstacles to secure housing.

"Contrary to the perception, Kelowna's Gospel Mission is the first step to housing," says Executive Director Randy Benson.

"We do not enable homelessness, but rather we are in the housing business. We are the safety net that catches those in need, that keeps them from falling in to chronic homelessness. The figures speak for themselves.”

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