Non-profit and social service agencies working to help people who are homeless and struggling with addictions, mental health issues and unaffordable housing gathered at the Kelowna Gospel Mission Wednesday for the 8th annual Well Done BBQ.
“We called people together to recognize that we do good work together and as a message to our community that as agencies, we’re not working in silos, we’re working together and it’s our collaboration and cooperation that brings us successes,” said Randy Benson, executive director of the Kelowna Gospel Mission.
Local groups represented at the lunch included homeless shelters, housing providers, addiction resources, Interior Health, the Downtown Kelowna Association and the RCMP.
Working together to bring services to people in need is essential to ensure good communication and collaboration and to prevent the duplicating of services, said Benson.
Lloyd McClelland, a program director at Freedom’s Door Kelowna, was one of the many people at the BBQ celebrating the collaboration of local agencies.
Freedom’s Door is an addiction recovery program for men.
“We teach the guys how to live differently, and how they can stay away from their addictions,” said McClelland. “We talk about change, we talk about relapse prevention, we talk about all the traumas that many of them got into addiction because of and we do counselling to help them with those traumas. We help lead them towards both housing and towards education and getting back involved with work.”
Collaboration with other agencies including the Kelowna Gospel Mission is vital, he said.
“We could not do anything without each other,” said McClelland. “If we have a guy that comes into town and can’t get a bed with us right away, they come down and they have a stay at the Gospel Mission. When the Gospel Mission finds some guys that are homeless but they really want a change of life, then Randy (Benson) or someone on his staff would get a hold of us at Freedom’s Door.”