Welcome Home Kits support transition to stable housing
VICTORIA - New Welcome Home Kits will provide household items and essential supplies to individuals and families throughout the province as they transition into more stable housing.
“In a huge housewarming for folks who used to be unhoused, we are helping with startup supplies to help get people settled in their new homes,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
In 2022, government invested $633 million in programs aimed at helping prevent and reduce chronic homelessness in the province. As part of government’s larger homelessness work, $1 million was provided to the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC), which developed the Welcome Home Kits program and is leading the production and distribution of approximately 2,000 kits in the first year.
The approximate value of each kit is $450. In addition to common household items, such as dishes, sheet sets and light bulbs, kits can be supplemented with a mobile phone, a fan for air circulation and gift cards to buy other items from home or grocery retailers.
Organizations interested in participating in the Welcome Home Kits program can email SPARC BC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604 718-7736.
Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing –
“Our government is committed to making meaningful change to prevent and reduce homelessness in B.C. These Welcome Home Kits are an important tool to add to our substantial investments in housing and social services for vulnerable people in our province. We will continue to work side by side with our partners to help unhoused or precariously housed British Columbians find a stable home that works for them.”
C.W., Welcome Home Kit recipient –
“I am at a transition centre going into transitional housing from being homeless and someone brought me a housing welcome package. I just want to thank you guys because it’s so amazing and this will for sure help me in my new apartment. I can’t believe how much is in the package and that I got one. It’s the first in a long time I have something new and it’s for me.”
Lorraine Copas, executive director, SPARC BC –
“SPARC BC is working with community partners across the province to distribute these kits and has the privilege of working with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, BC Rent Bank, and BC Society of Transition Houses, among others. It is our goal to have partners in every part of the province and to be able to extend the sense of welcome and belonging that we hope these kits provide.”
Leslie Varley, executive director, BC Aboriginal Association of Friendship Centres –
“Indigenous people are disproportionally impacted by homelessness in British Columbia. Empowering those affected by homelessness with a Welcome Home Kit is one important step towards bridging a gap between settler society and urban Indigenous realities. We welcome these kits as a means towards housing security for those in need.”
For more information about B.C.’s Response to Homelessness, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/affordable-and-social-housing/homelessness
For more information about SPARC BC, visit: https://www.sparc.bc.ca/