Cranbrook’s decision to look for a Social Development Coordinator is a welcomed announcement for local outreach organizations such as ANKORS.
City staff said the position will serve as a way to better collaborate between the provincial and federal governments and local non-profit groups.
ANKORS team lead and harm reduction coordinator Polly Sutherland praised the city for taking a more active approach to supporting Cranbrook’s unhoused residents.
She said the change is certainly welcomed and will give a boost to the work ANKORS and other local organizations already do.
“It’s going to compliment the coordination that we need to have while we move forward and face the challenges that are going to happen with folks who are living rough,” said Sutherland. “With the increase in people coming to Cranbrook, the homelessness issue is not going away. Any kind of concerted effort that is a collaboration is a good thing to see.”
ANKORS has a similar position within its own organization.
“Street Beats is doing a lot of the kind of deliverables that you’re seeing in this new position and it’s an add-on to that,” said Sutherland. “Included in that, is going to be more engagement with the province around addressing the increase in population in Crnabrook and addressing the extreme price of housing and how that’s impacting vulnerable people.”
Mayor Wayne Price said the Social Development Coordinator is part of the city’s efforts in taking a proactive approach to addressing the community’s social issues.
“A lot of these issues are outside of the city’s control but at the same time, the city has to take responsibility for the complaints, clean-up and some of the disorder,” said Price. “I think the top priority will be to get in and make some assessments and help us develop some strategic planning so we can deal with some of these issues.”
The Social Development Coordinator position is being funded with $50,000 from the City of Cranbrook and another $85,000 from the Regional District of East Kootenay.
“Although it’s a Cranbrook situation, it’s really a regional problem,” said Price. “A lot of the homeless people we have here, contrary to what many in the community may think, are from the region. You look at the smaller centres in the East Kootenay, they don’t have a lot of the resources the City of Cranbrook has.”
Sutherland said Cranbrook’s position as a regional hub is part of the reason the city’s unhoused population has been growing.
She emphasized that unhoused people are not being brought into Cranbrook from outside of the East Kootenay.
“In the outlying communities in the East Kootenay, many of those towns don’t have the supports necessary for a vulnerable population,” said Sutherland. “People need to step away from rumours – it’s not helpful. Look at the fact that everything that’s going on in Cranbrook right now is happening to all the other towns in British Columbia.”
The job posting is available, and will remain open until Apr. 10. You can find more details or apply through the link below.
More: City of Cranbrook employment opportunities