Cranbrook, BC (March 27, 2023) – Recruitment is now open for the City’s new Social Development Coordinator, after Council gave early budget approval of $50,000 to create the full-time position at their regular meeting on Monday night.
Cranbrook is experiencing significant changes in the social fabric of the community regarding social challenges with homelessness, also addictions and crime. There are provincial programs responsible for delivering homelessness associated social support services, and other provincially or otherwise funded non-profit organizations in place in Cranbrook working to manage this growing issue. Many of these programs and non-profits are struggling to meet the growing and changing needs of the community. The City is working to coordinate and bring together all these programs and agencies to help fill service gaps, while working proactively with them to help identify emerging issues and collaboratively create plans to manage these issues, while helping reduce the impacts on our bylaw services, RCMP, and Fire & Emergency Services.
The Social Development Coordinator position is designed to coordinate with the Provincial and Federal governments in a more proactive way, coordinating with federal, provincial, and local non-profit delivered programs to identify gaps in social services, to improve the outcomes of these programs in Cranbrook. This position will also be key in creating communications to both educate the community on these social issues, but also inform residents and business owners as to the important work being done.
A portion of this position is also being funded by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK). The RDEK Board approved funding of $85,000 to go toward the role, following approval of their 5 Year Financial Plan on March 17, 2023, something the City of Cranbrook is grateful for.
“With many of those experiencing homelessness finding their way to Cranbrook from the more rural areas of the Regional District in search of services, it only seemed fitting that the RDEK assist us in funding this role, which will help support residents of all communities in the region,” says Mayor Wayne Price. “On behalf of the City of Cranbrook and Council, I want to thank the RDEK for their support of this new role.”
“We fully support the City of Cranbrook in the proactive approach they are taking with this initiative and are pleased to be able to provide funding support for this new position,” says RDEK Vice Chair Susan Clovechok. “Our vulnerable populations are not being adequately supported by the Province and our communities are all feeling the impacts of that. Our hope is that this new position through the City will lead to a meaningful difference, not only for those who are vulnerable and struggling, but for all our citizens.”
The City is anticipating an increase in homelessness and outdoor camps to expand within Cranbrook, based on the trend of the past two years.
In Phase 1 of this role, the Social Development Coordinator will get in front of this influx and take the lead in areas of homelessness that impact municipal services as the increased workload to Bylaw Services, Fire & Emergency Services and the RCMP.
Phase 2 will utilize grant funding from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for additional resources to help move beyond the daily issues with more secure, long-term funding. The East Kootenay Collaborative for Reducing Poverty held a two-day conference October 28 and 29, 2022 at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort in Cranbrook supported through the Chamber of Commerce to hear about innovative programs and projects that have been developed in other communities and develop key recommendations for this area.
This second phase recognizes the recommendation from that conference. This Social Integration Specialist – a separate contract position funded through the UBCM in addition to the City’s Social Development Coordinator. This second position will investigate things like housing attainability and land use, social planning, complex needs, homelessness, shelter services, transitional housing, poverty and harm reduction, vulnerable populations, community health and wellness, food security and community building. Recommendations on policy and future programming priorities are also important outcomes. This second phase will operate under a non-profit model similar to the City of Vernon.
Monday night, Council also directed staff to include $50,000 for 2024 and $50,000 for 2025 in the budget process for Council consideration in those budget years for this role to have a 3-year term. Similarly, those future years funding from the RDEK will be will be considered by the RDEK board through their budget process in 2024 and 2025.
For details on the Social Development Coordinator employment posting, visit the City’s Employment webpage at https://cranbrook.ca/our-city/city-departments/human-resources/job-postings/.
The posting is open now and is set to close on Monday, April 10, 2023.