Housing First program manager Anne Burrill said 15 residents have been housed in Williams Lake thanks to the program. Burrill gave a presentation to mayor and council on the success last week. Angie Mindus photo

Housing program sees success in Williams Lake

Housing First has helped 15 residents find homes since June

The Housing First program has managed to house 15 people in Williams Lake this year, in spite of the difficulties surrounding the summer’s wildfires.

Program Manager Anne Burill gave Williams Lake mayor and council the good news about the program’s successes during an update to city council Nov. 21.

Since June, the program, which is funded by the federal government and United Way, has housed 15 people who would otherwise be homeless — 20 altogether since the pilot project kicked off last year.

Burrill told the Tribune the work is very rewarding.

“We’ve seen people’s lives stabilized. They’ve gone back to school, they’re happier, they are more functional,” she said, noting others have gone to treatment or have been able to return to work once properly housed.

“You don’t have a lot of control over your life when you’re homeless.”

The program is run with one full-time and one part-time staff and assists clients in finding homes for residents considered hard to house.

Clients may suffer from mental illness, disabilities, addictions, poverty, or be escaping abusive relationships or a combination of all or some of those issues that can lead to homelessness, Burrill said.

Housing First works in partnership with local landlords as much as possible, with three local partnerships currently, and helps clients with everything from finding a place to live, to getting house supplies and finding furniture as well as connecting them with other community services.

Burrill said she is very pleased with the program’s success, reporting all residents who were evacuated during the summer months returned to their homes and their positive paths.

The program is in year one of a three-year pilot funded by Vancouver Foundation. She said they currently have 32 applications from potential clients waiting for Housing First.

READ MORE: Williams Lake homeless surveyed

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From left, Cariboo Regional District director Barb Bachmeier, North Cariboo Seniors’ Council (NCSC) secretary Sally Service, NCSC president Brenda Gardiner and Quesnel Coun. Mitch Vik were all decked out in masks while at the NCSC open house Friday, Oct. 30 in Spirit Square in downtown Quesnel. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
North Cariboo Seniors’ Council aims to help Quesnel seniors

Council president Brenda Gardiner said COVID-19 has “ripped off the Band-Aid” for seniors’ issues

The Williams Lake Skating Club is thrilled to introduce new coach Brenda Boulin (right) to its team. Boulin joins head coach Joanne Macnair (centre) and coach Breanna Davidson. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Skating Club welcomes new coach to team

WLSC longtime head coach Joanne Macnair is thrilled to welcome Brenda Boulin back home

While the weather in Williams Lake wreaked havoc on roads and flooded homes this week, the swans didn’t seem to mind it at all. (David Fait photo)
Waterlogged: Williams Lake downright soggy after days of rain

October has seen an unusual amount of rain fall in the Cariboo this year

Roberts Drive resident Lisa Tarlings awoke at 6 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 to water roaring down the driveway. She and other residents began working to try and divert the water off the road into the ditch. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune.
‘I could hear the water roaring outside’: Williams Lake homes flood after snow, heavy rain

Bette McLennan has lived in her home 41 years and this is the worst it’s ever been

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Most Read