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Central Okanagan Foundation donates $50k to help rent bank program

The rent bank program is through the Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna received $50,000 from the Central Okanagan Foundation. (Contributed)

In a time when inflation is rising and people are struggling to pay rent some months, the Central Okanagan Foundation has come to help a local organization.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, the foundation donated $50,000 to the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Central Okanagan Rent Bank program.

This program through CMHA is a one-time interest-free loan and emergency grant to help people pay for their homes that are facing financial troubles.

“More people are feeling the impacts of inflation and high rents and finding it harder to keep up financially,” said CMHA Kelowna CEO Mike Gawliuk. “There are people and families in our community who are one crisis away from losing the roof over their head; a small investment now to secure someone’s home is a significant investment in their mental health.”

Gawliuk also adds the rent bank program saw a 49 per cent increase in loan requests last year. In that year, CMHA Kelowna received 431 applications for the rent bank program. In total, they gave out $31,304.21 in loans and $74,630.08 in grants. Applicants must complete a pre-assessment to determine program eligibility.

“The Central Okanagan Foundation recognizes that stable housing is fundamental to community wellbeing,” said Central Okanagan Foundation manager of grants and community initiatives Abbie Norrish. “This strategic investment will help individuals and families retain their homes, helping to address the increasing need and creating a more resilient community for everyone.”

CMHA Kelowna launched the program in 2021.

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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