It’s Homelessness Action Week
It's Homelessness Action Week. What you can do to be an ally and help your homeless neighbours?
This year, Homelessness Action Week is different, for the same reasons everything else this year has been different.
And yet, some things have stayed the same.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the gaps in our communities, and our society at large. It’s shown us that, when something out of our control happens, some of us will get the help we need, and others won’t.
These gaps have always been there. But more and more people are falling through them.
More of our neighbours are at risk of having their hours cut at work, or missing out on that raise they needed to get by, or losing their job entirely. More of our neighbours are needing to choose between paying the hydro bill and getting groceries.
More and more of our neighbours are at risk of losing their homes or have already lost them.
There have always been people who have tragically lost their homes and ended up couch-surfing for months or years, or ended up on the street. Now, there are more.
But we at United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island, along with dozens of local organizations, and with support from you, have not stopped taking action to address homelessness.
UWCNVI has distributed millions of dollars into central and northern Vancouver Island communities during this pandemic. We’ve directed federal funding and donor dollars to ensure families in need have food and shelter, to keep supports for our homeless and nearly homeless running and make sure these folks stay connected to the help they need.
We’ve worked with agencies to keep counselling groups running virtually, to keep recovering addicts connected to the programs that are helping them recover, and supported the creation of more supportive housing. Because the need continues to grow.
We know that through recent counts that the numbers of people facing homelessness is steadily increasing despite supports and investments.
The pandemic is only making more people vulnerable to becoming homeless.
We need to continue to act, and we need you to continue to help us:
1) If you’re able, we ask that you donate to United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island so that we can distribute those funds to the most effective agencies working in your communities.
2) Please consider reaching out to your local agencies to find out what you can do to help your those in your community experiencing homelessness
3) Please take some time to learn about what homelessness looks like in your community by accessing reputable sources. Here are some resources to get you started:
General info -
Area-specific info -
Comox Valley, Duncan/Cowichan Valley/Nanaimo Homeless Count:
4) Finally, once you’ve done that research and have facts about this issue from reputable sources, advocate on behalf of your homeless neighbours to your local government representatives.
It’s Homelessness Action Week, and we need to keep taking action.