New tool to improve shelter access is now live
The Central Okanagan Journey Home Society (COJHS) is excited to announce the release of the Shelter Dashboard: a joint project with the City of Kelowna aimed at improving access to shelter spaces and social wellness resources in our community.
“The Shelter Dashboard is a much-needed resource in our community, both for those experiencing homelessness and for our partner organizations,” said Malcolm Evans, Systems Planner at COJHS. “From the outset of this project, we envisioned a tool with the capacity to reflect real-time changes in resources during both emergencies and normal operations. Timely access to accurate information is a critical component to the success of homelessness services in Kelowna.”
The dashboard provides updates on the total number of available beds at all shelters in Kelowna. Key information for outreach services available at each site is also listed for the benefit of those not staying in a shelter.
“The City and Journey Home work together on many fronts and the Shelter Dashboard is the perfect example of the innovation that can grow through our strategic collaboration,” said Sue Wheeler, Social Development Manager at the City of Kelowna. “This tool will help make better use of existing shelter spaces in Kelowna by highlighting availability in real time to ensure all shelters are filled to their capacity. It’s going to mean fewer people are left to shelter outdoors.”
For those experiencing homelessness, the process of accessing shelter and other support can be difficult to navigate. The dashboard is a centralized access point for information about essential services, which helps those accessing and providing services stay informed about changes in our community.
“This is an amazing resource for our community in regard to emergency sheltering and working collaboratively to help those in need,” said Kody Woodmass, Strategic Planning Coordinator at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society. “Future iterations of the dashboard will allow for real-time data on our shelter availability. Not only will this be critical for frontline staff, but it will also provide data that will be crucial for determining the need for additional funding for housing, shelters, and wrap-around support services.”
As time passes, COJHS will continue to work with community partners to improve and further develop the Shelter Dashboard, ensuring that it can meet evolving demands.
Access the Shelter Dashboard:
The dashboard is publicly available and can be accessed at journeyhome.ca under “shelter dashboard”.
Thank You to Our Partners:
This project would not be possible without the ongoing support of the City of Kelowna Information Services Department and our community of practice. COJHS would like to acknowledge and extend sincere gratitude to our partners for their contributions.