Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons has indicated that $72,000 in funding from the province will help support safer social service delivery in Powell River.
The funding will go to the inclusion Powell River Society (iPR) for creation of an outdoor warm room to deliver physically distanced programming, including the purchase of heaters, temporary walls and outdoor seating.
“Adapting to COVID-19 has been challenging for local organizations, especially ones that have needed to make investments in new spaces and equipment,” stated Simons, in a media release. “This support will help the inclusion Powell River Society keep doing the important work they do, with the help of a safe and comfortable new space.”
In an interview with the Peak, iPR chief executive officer Lilla Tipton said the organization was going to be working on providing more outdoor space. She said part of the effort will be with children’s services and also for adults at the Jean Pike Centre. She said at some of the group homes, they will be able to take heaters so people can meet with family members outside.
“It’s been a long time that they have not been able to visit with their family members,” said Tipton. “We can set up a heater so they can sit outside and be warm and meet with their loved one. That’s really exciting to be able to do that.”
Tipton said the funds are also going to allow iPR to create a wheelchair path on the site of Jean Pike Centre so people can get to the back of the building using a wheelchair. She said right now, it’s almost impossible. She said in addition to allowing people to get to the back yard, it will also provide another access point to the building in case the elevator is not functioning.
“We’re really pleased about that,” said Tipton.
iPR is one of 53 not-for-profit organizations around BC receiving support this year from the capital project stream of the community gaming grants program.
This year, the program prioritized capital project requests from not-for-profits facing an increased demand for services or requiring modifications to programs and facilities to meet public health and safety guidelines, the release stated.
The program has made it a condition that all grant funding this year complies with provincial health officer orders and is providing flexibility for organizations to delay project and service delivery until they can do so safely.