Pathways Addictions Resource Centre in Penticton gets small grant from city, well below their hopes

Pathways gets a morsel

Penticton city council has given Pathways Addictions Resource Centre a small grant, though it is a far cry from what they had asked for.

During 2022 budget deliberations Tuesday, council approved $10,000 for the program to go toward 100 hours of counselling service for vulnerable people in the community.

The program has had a difficult year, after Interior Health announced in spring 2021 they were moving addictions counselling services in-house, giving Pathways notice as of May 31, they would no longer receive the provincial funding that made up 95 per cent of their annual budget.

They closed briefly but have since re-opened on a fee-for-service model.

At Tuesday's meeting, council heard a request from the organization for $344,000 in funding, to cover approximately 70 per cent of their operating costs.

This was not the first time Pathways had come to council asking for help with funding. In October, they pitched a special funding partnership with the city, which was shot down by council due to wariness over setting a precedent that provincial responsibilities be downloaded onto municipalities.

On Tuesday, some councillors reiterated the same concerns.

"We’ve all said before, what a wonderful asset it is to the city, but it is clearly under the mandate of the provincial government,” said Coun. Katie Robinson.

Coun. James Miller threw his support behind more funding, but without appetite from most fellow council members, suggested a $10,000 one-time grant as a compromise.

"If we're going to fund festivals or whatever, should our people not come before festivals?" he asked.

The motion passed 4-3.

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