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Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency awarded $7.3 million grant for housing initiatives

News Release: Kamloops, BC

Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency (SCFSA) is excited to announce it has been awarded a $7.3 million grant that will create the first of its kind housing initiatives grounded in Secwépemc culture.

Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency (SCFSA) has been awarded a $7.3 million grant from the National Indigenous Collaborative Housing Inc. (NICHI). This grant will enable the creation of two housing projects, rapid response housing and transitional housing in urban Kamloops. Led by First Nations, these projects will provide much needed accommodation and support programs and services to members of the seven First Nations Communities served by SCFSA. They include Cstélen (Adams Lake), Pellt’iq’t (Whispering Pines/Clinton), Simpcw, Sk’atsin (Neskonlith), Skítsesten (Skeetchestn), St’uxwtews (Bonaparte), and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

Supporting First Nations Communities with Cultural Heritage

This initiative reflects SCFSA’s commitment to address the urgent and unmet housing needs of First Nations children, youth, and families served by the Agency. The two housing projects will offer a culturally enriched environment promoting growth, wellness as well as a strong relationship to the land amongst its residents. SCFSA’s commitment to prevention and resilience throughout its program and service delivery will ensure the Agency continues to meet the unique needs and challenges of the Communities it serves.

“This is a long time coming”, shares Marshall Gonzales, President of SCFSA. “This funding will help our children, youth and families by putting them into a safe environment while in transition”.

The rapid response and transitional housing locations will each be initiated by a land blessing ceremony that respects and honours the ancestral connections and the spiritual significance of the land, following Secwépemc protocol. These housing initiatives will provide up to 20 beds for Secwépemc children, youth, and families in transition. The rapid response housing option will accommodate individuals for up to 90 days, while the transitional housing option will support occupants for up to two years.

“The creator placed us on this land to take care of our people, the Elders, babies, unborn and our displaced”, Secwépemc Elders. Celebrating the launch of what will become the first of many First Nations-led culturally grounded housing initiatives in Kamloops, SCFSA will strive for a future that respects the unique cultures, identities, and traditions of the 17 Communities within Secwepemcúl’ecw and of those, the seven Communities served by the Agency.

For additional information, please contact: Marshall Gonzales, President of the Board, Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency (SCFSA) at [email protected]