Early Years Partnership
Stephen Johnston - West Kelowna Councillor
We are very fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful and affluent places in the world, this however does not mean that we are immune to the effects of poverty, addiction and homelessness within our community. I believe we have a responsibility to care for the young, vulnerable, homeless and elderly among us, and feel that the city should play a part in advocating for these individuals and the organization that already work so tirelessly to provide essential services. There are many regional strategies in the works that the City of West Kelowna can partner in to help drive positive change within our community, most notably the Journey Home Strategy. As the past President of the West Kelowna Shelter Society I've seen first hand the effects mental health and addiction have on many vulnerable and at risk members of our community. I think solutions to many of the social issues we face start in the early developmental stages of life, and I would love to see more opportunities available to children and young families. Another thing we need to look at is encouraging a broader range of affordable housing options. Many people feel as though they are priced out of the market and despite their work ethic and best efforts, struggle to find appropriate housing. We need to begin to look to well rounded solutions for these issues within our community. I think its important that we play supportive roles in things like the Journey Home strategy and the Poverty Reduction Committee in order to ensure we truly do grow toward a community with opportunities for people of all ages and stages of life.