We are pleased to introduce you to the Journey Home Strategy, to share the journey that we have been on as a community, and to reveal the exciting outcomes of our efforts. Building this Strategy has been much more than just building a document. It has been both a revealing and inspirational experience. The Strategy embodies our community’s voice. It is the product of a community that is motivated and ready to make a change. We present to you the Journey Home Strategy as the result of our joint passions, combined strengths, and collective hopes for Kelowna and each other.
It is evident in every fibre of our community that Kelowna is experiencing significant growth and change.Kelowna’s vibrancy as a thriving urban centre attracts investment, tourism, and migration from near andfar. Along with this growth come significant challenges as our most vulnerable citizens struggle to find theirplace. We know we need to create change that will ensure everyone has access to the right supports to thrive. In the face of these challenges, the Journey Home process has revealed a strength and resiliency in community spirit that is unfolding as people come together in a new way. The Journey Home Strategy has been designed to intentionally tap into and nurture this community energy.
While Journey Home has taught us about our strengths, it has also given us a clear picture of the challenges we face. Data from local shelters together with the 2018 Point-in-Time Count (PIT Count) indicates homelessness has increased by 20% over the last two years, and we know that if we do not create a realistic action plan tailored to Kelowna’s unique needs, the number of people experiencing homelessness will only continue to increase. The Journey Home message is clear: the time to act is now.
The decision to name this Strategy “Journey Home” was intentional. Kelowna’s Journey Home Strategy reflects the often-difficult path from homelessness and marginalization to having a home, gaining a sense ofbelonging, and being a part of a community. It illustrates the journey from a place of uncertainty and fear to one of safety, security, and acceptance. And it demonstrates the journey of a community from complacency to action.