As the City of Penticton moves forwards to access federal funds to build safer communities, local youth-serving organizations are coming together to plan the use of the almost $1 million to prevent youth crime
“As we have been reaching out to explore what initiatives might be most effective in Penticton, we have seen an incredible willingness of our local youth-serving organizations to work co-operatively rather than compete with each other for funding,” says Jamie Lloyd-Smith, the City’s interim social development specialist. “Organizations want to come to consensus on programs that would best serve youth in our community. In particular, there is a desire to focus on safe housing supports, mental health and substance use, and family and home life supports.”
In a report to council being presented at the next regular meeting, Lloyd-Smith notes that 26 local organizations were surveyed and examined through consultation and that the next step is submitting a three-year investment plan to the federal government. Upon a successful submission, identified programs can be funded.
“The funding that Penticton is eligible to receive presents a significant opportunity to enhance the services that support young people, and builds off the ‘No Where to Go’, report on youth homelessness released last year” she says. “Community consultations and research to date has validated the local needs and opportunities to prevent youth criminal behaviour, and lays the foundation for community partners to come together and collaborate on a three-year investment plan by consensus.”
No matching funding from the City is requested, with all project associated costs funded through the grant. Staff will finalize the proposal and submit it to the federal government by the end of March. It is hoped that upon a successful submission, funds will flow later this spring for multi-year funding until 2026.