Resources and Context on Homelessness

Homelessness represents a complex challenge for a diverse array of decision-makers and stakeholders. There are multiple networks, strategies, historical accounts, and data collection efforts that can offer context and insights related to homelessness, and can inform efforts to prevent or address experienced hardships. Resources are clustered below in terms of:

  • Regional Resources from the Central Okanagan on the local context,
  • Provincial Resources specific to British Columbia, and
  • National Resources on the broader Canadian context of homelessness

The Resources tab hosts recent or ongoing sources of information with a focus on relevancy to the current experiences of homelessness. For a a full list of research articles, dissertations, and books / reports with a focus on homelessness in Kelowna and the surrounding area, please see our Featured Research: Kelowna and the Okanagan page.

Additional resources and context on poverty more generally can be found in our May 2021 Blog Post: Addressing Poverty – Developments at the Local, Provincial, and Federal Level.


Regional Resources on Homelessness (the Okanagan)

Central Okanagan Journey Home Society

The Journey Home Strategy is Kelowna’s 5-year plan to address homelessness with a focus on ensuring everyone has a place to call home. The goal is to ensure a coordinated and easy to access system of care for those in Kelowna who have lost, or are at risk of losing their home.

COJHS released a report in March 2021, A Systems Approach Review of Kelowna’s Homeless Serving Sector, that provides an overview of the current situation and plans moving forward in pursuit of functional zero.

A Way Home Kelowna

In concert with the Journey Home Strategy, a targeted Youth Homelessness Prevention Strategy was released in 2019.

Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO)

RDCO hosts reports on housing in Okanagan, including the Regional Housing Needs Assessment

Homeless Hub

(Canadian Observatory on Homelessness)

The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) maintain profiles for Reaching Home communities:

Built For Zero

Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness 

CAEH has featured work in ending homelessness within the local Okanagan region:

Central Okanagan Foundation

COF is the Community Entity for Kelowna under the Reaching Home strategy, and hosts the local Point in Time counts.

      • Older counts preceding national coordination efforts were conducted by the Kelowna Homelessness Networking Group. The 2003 and 2004 counts are listed online.

Point in Time counts for Vernon and Penticton are now both available on the BC Housing Homeless Counts page. 

City of Kelowna

The City of Kelowna hosts pages with information on:

Related items include the Emergency Shelter Plan (Report / Council Agenda), efforts of the Community Inclusion Team, and the 2017 Housing Needs Assessment (which itself introduced the Housing Wheelhouse) and other housing and planning items.

United Way BC

The United Way BC site hosts information on poverty in the Okanagan, including the Central Okanagan Community Wellness Analysis

Local Podcasts


Provincial Resources on Homelessness (BC)

BC Housing BC Housing facilitates the coordination of provincial Homelessness Services & Programs. Accordingly, they also host an Emergency Shelter Map and a portal for Affordable, Supportive, and Co-Operative housing. They also manage Public Engagement for Supportive Housing developments.

They also host a Research Centre with information on housing statistics and housing solutions. That includes a series of case studies and reports related to Supportive Housing (including both social and economic value analyses) as well as studies on Transitions from Homelessness (including modular supportive housing outcomes and outreach practices).

This also includes their own Provincial Homelessness Counts, focused on smaller communities (c.f. the counts of larger communities funded federally through Reaching Home). 2020 / 2021 counts were conducted in: Campbell River, Comox Valley, Cranbrook, Duncan and Cowichan Valley, Fort St. John, Merritt, Parksville and Qualicum, Penticton, Port Alberni, Prince Rupert, Quesnel, Sechelt and Gibsons, Smithers, Squamish, Vernon, and Williams Lake.

    • An aggregate report was produced in 2018 to summarize the results on that year’s counts
BC Stats BC Stats maintains provincial data on numerous topics, including:

BC Basic Income Panel In July 2018, the Province of BC announced the creation of an expert panel to explore the idea of a basic income guarantee in British Columbia. The result was:

Government of BC The provincial government hosts documents relevant to the experience of homelessness and housing precarity, including, but not limited to:

    • TogetherBC (2019), BC’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (and associated annual reports)
    • And the Homes for B.C. (2018) plan for housing affordability
BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) BC CDC provides regular reporting on Overdose Response Indicators regarding the related crisis of opioid addiction.


National Resources on Homelessness (Canada)

Homeless Hub

(Canadian Observatory on Homelessness)

The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) is a non-partisan research and policy partnership between academics, policy and decision makers, service providers and people with lived experience of homelessness. This includes:

Homeless Hub also hosts the Homelessness Learning Hub, offering both self-directed learning courses and practical resource collections.

Built For Zero

BFZ offers community progress information (with links to data dashboards) for participating Campaign communities on key milestones towards functional zero chronic and veteran homelessness. Kelowna and Penticton are both BFZ Communities.

Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness 

CAEH leads a national movement of individuals, organizations and communities working together to end homelessness in Canada. They are affiliated with a collection of initiatives and allied networks, including BFZ as well as their Technical and Training Assistance arm.

Statistics Canada Statistics Canada maintains a series of national data and indicators, including:

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

ESDC pages detail the Reaching Home program, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, and it’s association to the National Housing Strategy.

ESDC also hosts a collection of associated reports and data, including the Shelter Capacity Reports (although note these exclude shelters classified as transitional housing) as well as overviews of the Coordinated Point in Time Counts.

National Podcasts

CAEH and Blue Door host a weekly On the Way Home podcast (National Coverage)