Journey Home Task Force adds national homelessness expert

December 8, 2017

The Journey Home Task Force is moving ahead backed by the support and expertise of Dr. Alina Turner and the Turner Strategies team.

“Turner Strategies has completed more than 50 projects that focus on resolving complex social issues, like poverty and homelessness. We are excited to incorporate and learn from such an exceptional national expert,” said Martin Bell, Journey Home Task Force co-chair.

Turner Strategies was recently hired to work with the Task Force to create Kelowna’s long-term strategy to address homelessness. Dr. Turner is a leading researcher with her work on system planning recognized as a leading best practice and an often used model across communities.

Dr. Turner led the implementation of Canada’s first Homelessness Management Information System and also designed Calgary’s Housing First System. Most recently, her team worked with Victoria, Edmonton and Yellowknife on their plans to address homelessness.

Turner Strategies has also partnered with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and A Way Home Canada to prepare the Journey Home plan. The Observatory is a leader in Canada in forming partnerships to conduct research for more effective solutions to homelessness. A Way Home Canada is a national coalition focused on addressing youth homelessness.

“The combined expertise included on Dr. Turner’s team will help our community make significant progress toward preventing homelessness, and ensuring if it does occur, that it is short-lived and doesn’t reoccur,” said Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Journey Home Task Force co-chair.

A number of community initiatives are already taking place that help support Journey Home’s vision; including, a Street Outreach to Housing training session that was attended by nearly 100 people from 30 different organizations and agencies; the recent cooperative work with BC Housing and the John Howard Society to establish an emergency shelter for up to 80 people on Leon Avenue; and the recent BC Housing announcement that will see approximately 127 supportive housing units available in Kelowna in the coming months, pending permit approvals and site finalization.

For more information about current initiatives and Journey Home, visit kelowna.ca/journeyhome.