The Alberni Valley Community Fund is receiving $40,000, which will be designated by the Foundations for Grants for Homelessness Projects, adding to the $160,000 already specified in the fund. The Port Alberni Shelter society, managed by Wes Hewitt (pictured above) was one of five societies that received a portion of the VIHA Homelessness grant.
The $80,002.26 the Canadian Mental Health Association is receiving will go to support staff for the lease of a 41-unit subsidized apartment building. The Port Alberni Shelter Society is using its funds for both the acquisition of a duplex for long-term supportive housing for families, along with a part-time caseworker to provide advocacy for shelter clients. "The person we will be hiring will be working with clients on disability applications and advocating to get them different medical or proper medical services," said Wes Hewitt, manager of the shelter, who also wrote the reference letter for the Canadian Mental health Association's proposal for grant money.
The Phoenix House will receive $78,917.74 and use it to renovate a duplex in order to provide seven new rooms of accommodation.Sarina Jansson of the Phoenix House said the last time she checked, the shelter was over capacity so the seven new rooms will be used to get those extra people out of the shelter. "I'm also hoping that it's going to put us in a better position to apply for staffing," Jansson said. "The more beds you have, the more they can justify giving you help in that regard and the more bodies you have, the more you do need the help," she added Phoenix House has had use of the duplex, but has not had the funds to make it operational. Westcoast Community Services will use its $26,640 for a site survey and design of a supportive housing project.
Alberni-Clayoquot CAO Russell Dyson said the dispersal of the grant money should help the homelessness problem in the Alberni Valley."That's why we utilized the services of the [stakeholders] committee that reviewed the applications," Dyson said. "They are involved with homelessness within our community and are able to know what the experiences are of the applicants and what the needs are in our community and then give recommendations to the board as to what will serve the community best."
Each society submitted applications, which were reviewed by the Alberni Valley Stakeholders and submitted to ACRD for approval. No changes were made to the recommendations the stakeholders made.
Scott McKenzie, Alberni Valley Times Published: Friday, July 27, 2012
© Alberni Valley Times 2012