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Posts Tagged "facing"

11Jun

People facing homelessness to get local support from grants

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People facing homelessness will receive help through grants that support strong, sustainable planning for local groups and organizations working on the front lines in British Columbia communities.

The Province is granting $6 million to the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) for a Homelessness Community Action Grant to help groups address homelessness in their towns and cities. The grants will also support organizations with a provincewide focus to explore better ways of meeting the needs of particular groups of people that have a higher risk of experiencing homelessness.

“Preventing homelessness is a critical part of TogetherBC: BC’s Poverty Reduction Strategy,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Through these grants, we will build partnerships with local organizations and help people facing homelessness to prevent it from happening in the first place.”

SPARC BC will distribute the Homelessness Community Action Grants to groups and organizations over the next three years as a one-time grant to successful applicants. The chosen projects will build on local resources and knowledge about homelessness and its causes, increase public awareness and support, and respond to gaps in services for people experiencing homelessness. 

“Local organizations and non-profits are at the front lines of the homelessness crisis, and they have been doing great work creating partnerships to address homelessness at a local level,” said Lorraine Copas, executive director, SPARC BC. “This grant will support the sustainability of the work as they continue to make positive change.”

Through the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program, the Province is investing $291 million to build 2,000 homes throughout B.C. and providing annual operating funding to provide 24/7 staffing and support services. Nearly 1,400 of the homes are complete.

“Homelessness touches virtually every corner of our province and affects at least 8,000 individuals on any given night of the year,” said Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “Combined with the historic investments in affordable housing now rolling out and a rapid response to homelessness through new supportive housing, this additional $6-million investment has the potential to help communities co-ordinate their supports for people experiencing homelessness.” 

TogetherBC, the province’s first poverty reduction strategy, was released in early 2019 and included a newly created Homelessness Coordination Office that will work with partners across government and in the community to deliver a co-ordinated and proactive response to homelessness.

“Homelessness is a complex issue that requires many solutions. The issues people face are different across communities and demographics,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Poverty Reduction. “We can only prevent homelessness by working together. This grant supports communities and organizations on the ground who are dedicated to finding local solutions to preventing poverty.”

Addressing poverty is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quick Facts:

  • The Homelessness Action Grant application form will soon be available on the SPARC BC website.
  • TogetherBC, the Province’s first poverty reduction strategy, was released in March 2019 as a roadmap to reduce overall poverty by 25% and cut child poverty in half over five years.
  • Through the Building BC program, the Province works in partnership to build homes for people individuals and families, seniors, students, women and children leaving violence, Indigenous peoples and people experiencing homelessness.
  • More than 20,000 new homes are completed, under construction or in the approvals process in communities throughout B.C. as part of a $7-billion investment over 10 years in housing affordability.

Learn More:

Find out more about SPARC BC: https://www.sparc.bc.ca/

TogetherBC, B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy:
ttps://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/initiatives-plans-strategies/poverty-reduction-strategy/togetherbc.pdf

Homes for B.C., a 30-point Plan for Housing Affordability in British Columbia:
https://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_homes_for_bc.pdf

Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program:
https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/rapid-response-homelessness

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online:
https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC


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10Jun

Renters facing eviction get support through rent bank funding to Vancity

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Renters facing short-term financial difficulties will soon get more help and avoid evictions with new funding for community rent banks.

Rent banks provide emergency low-cost or no-cost loans to help renters facing eviction. As part of Budget 2019, the Province granted $10 million to the Vancity Community Foundation (VCF), a non-profit foundation associated with Vancity credit union, to develop a sustainable, provincewide rent bank system. Vancity has been supporting rent banks in communities for over a decade and will consult with existing rent banks to develop a sustainable provincial program.

“Preventing homelessness by helping people avoid eviction is key and rent banks play an important role,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The Province is contributing this funding to support a sustainable network of rent banks to help people in B.C., and I look forward to hearing about the consultation, and the plan that Vancity and the existing rent banks will have in place for the long term.”

VCF and Vancity are working with existing rent banks to better understand their operational needs, discuss best practices, identify service gaps and examine expanding the rent bank model to more communities throughout B.C.

Existing rent banks already have access to funding from the provincial grant to ensure their immediate needs are met and their work is sustainable. Following the consultation, funding will go toward expanding a B.C.-wide system so tenants experiencing short-term financial crisis can be supported, regardless of where they live.

“People with lived experience of these issues are guiding this work,” said Catherine Ludgate, senior manager of community investment, Vancity. “We are taking a consultative approach with the rent banks to assess how they can expand service across the province, so more people can access funds and avoid homelessness.” 

Rent banks support the goals of TogetherBC, the provincial poverty reduction strategy. Implementing a B.C.-wide rent bank system was a recommendation of B.C.’s Rental Housing Task Force, following consultations with landlords and tenants throughout the province.

The funding builds on other improvements government has made to support renters in B.C., including cutting the annual allowable rent increase, introducing stronger protection for tenants during renovations or demolitions and enhancing eligibility and benefits under the Rental Assistance Program for families with children and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters.

“Housing security is a priority for the BC Green Party and the provincial government,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and a member of the Rental Housing Task Force. “Rent banks offer a level of security for renters and landlords that doesn’t currently exist, and alongside the task force recommendations, will help to create a stronger, more supportive rental market for British Columbians.”

Addressing poverty and homelessness is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Spencer Chandra Herbert, chair of the Rental Housing Task Force and MLA for Vancouver-West End —

“We know how expensive, disruptive and stressful evictions can be for everyone. We need to be proactive if we’re going to reduce homelessness. Rent banks help keep people in their homes and get back on their feet, while ensuring the rent gets paid. That’s why I helped found Vancouver’s Rent Bank. They work.”

Allison Felker, interim executive director, VCF —

“We’re using our financial tools and expertise to build capacity for rent banks, ensuring they have the ability to meet the needs of our communities.”

Kellie Carroll, executive director, the Network of Inner City Community Services Society and the Vancouver Rent Bank —

“The staff at the Vancouver Rent Bank are pleased that the funds that the provincial government is providing will contribute to the long-term sustainability of rent banks in B.C.”

Melissa Giles, director of programs, Mennonite Central Committee and the Fraser Valley Rent Bank —

“Through the funding, the Province has made clear the important role of rent banks in helping at-risk people receive the critical support they need to remain housed and off the streets. Working together as a coalition, we are committed to see these funds used efficiently in the support of existing rent banks and the expansion of the program into new communities in B.C.”

Learn More:

TogetherBC, B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/poverty-reduction-strategy

Renting in B.C.: https://www.renters.gov.bc.ca 

BC Housing Rental Assistance Programs: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/rental-assistance


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16May

Longtime Penticton lifeguard facing child porn, sex assault charges: RCMP

by admin

A Penticton man who worked as a lifeguard for decades is facing a slew of charges related to child pornography and sexual assault.

In a statement, Mounties said Edward Casavant, who also goes by “Eddie Spaghetti,” is facing 10 counts in connection with incidents that allegedly took place between 2008 and 2014:

  • 2 counts of making or publishing child pornography
  • 1 count of importing or distributing child pornography
  • 1 count of possession of child pornography
  • 1 count of accessing child pornography
  • 1 count of secretly observe/record nudity in private place
  • 1 count of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability
  • 1 count of sexual assault
  • 1 count of sexual interference of person under 16
  • 1 count of Invitation to sexual touching under 16

He was arrested on Wednesday.

This is a breaking news story and will be updates as more information becomes available


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16May

Longtime Summerland lifeguard facing child porn, sex assault charges: RCMP

by admin

CTV News Vancouver


Published Thursday, May 16, 2019 1:55PM PDT


Last Updated Thursday, May 16, 2019 4:22PM PDT

A Penticton man who worked as a lifeguard for decades is facing a slew of charges related to child pornography and sexual assault.

In a statement, Mounties said Edward Casavant, who also goes by “Eddie Spaghetti,” is facing 10 counts in connection with incidents that allegedly took place between 2008 and 2014:

  • Two counts of making or publishing child pornography
  • One count of importing or distributing child pornography
  • One count of possession of child pornography
  • One count of accessing child pornography
  • One count of secretly observe/record nudity in private place
  • One count of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability
  • One count of sexual assault
  • One count of sexual interference of person under 16
  • One count of Invitation to sexual touching under 16

The 54-year-old was arrested on Wednesday.

RCMP say he worked as a lifeguard for over 30 years, beginning in the late 1980s, and also volunteered at various local summer camps and community events.

“Police believe Casavant used his position to gain access to school aged children,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau in a statement.

The District of Summerland, where Casavant worked until retiring in late 2018, called the allegations “deeply unsettling.”

“We recognize this situation is deeply upsetting to our community — to any community. It’s upsetting to us as well. We know people will have questions, and we will do our best to answer them when it is appropriate and when we have the authorities’ permission to do so,” Summerland Mayor Toni Boot said in a statement.

Boots said the district is focusing on helping those impacted by the alleged incidents.

Mounties say they have identified at least two victims, but believe there are more who either may not have reported their interaction or may not be aware they are a victim.

Anyone with more information is asked to report to the police in their jurisdiction or to call Penticton RCMP at 250-276-2177.


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16May

Longtime Summerland lifeguard ‘Eddie Spaghetti’ facing child porn, sex assault charges

by admin

CTV News Vancouver


Published Thursday, May 16, 2019 1:55PM PDT


Last Updated Thursday, May 16, 2019 5:28PM PDT

A Penticton man who worked as a lifeguard for decades is facing a slew of charges related to child pornography and sexual assault.

In a statement, Mounties said Edward Casavant, who also goes by “Eddie Spaghetti,” is facing 10 counts in connection with incidents that allegedly took place between 2008 and 2014:

  • Two counts of making or publishing child pornography
  • One count of importing or distributing child pornography
  • One count of possession of child pornography
  • One count of accessing child pornography
  • One count of secretly observe/record nudity in private place
  • One count of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability
  • One count of sexual assault
  • One count of sexual interference of person under 16
  • One count of Invitation to sexual touching under 16

The 54-year-old was arrested on Wednesday.

RCMP say he worked as a lifeguard for over 30 years, beginning in the late 1980s, and also volunteered at various local summer camps and community events.

“Police believe Casavant used his position to gain access to school aged children,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau in a statement.

The District of Summerland, where Casavant worked until retiring in late 2018, called the allegations “deeply unsettling.”

“We recognize this situation is deeply upsetting to our community — to any community. It’s upsetting to us as well. We know people will have questions, and we will do our best to answer them when it is appropriate and when we have the authorities’ permission to do so,” Summerland Mayor Toni Boot said in a statement.

Boots said the district is focusing on helping those impacted by the alleged incidents.

Mounties say they have identified at least two victims, but believe there are more who either may not have reported their interaction or may not be aware they are a victim.

Anyone with more information is asked to report to the police in their jurisdiction or to call Penticton RCMP at 250-276-2177.


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