Gaelene Askland has quit as Journey Home Society executive director after six months on the job. (Capital News file)

Kelowna’s Journey Home executive director quits

Gaylene Askland was on the job for just six months, leading the city’s strategy to fight homelessness

After just six months on the job, the executive director of Kelowna’s Journey Home Society, Gaelene Askland has resigned.

Askland, who was hired after seven years working with non-profit organizations, was tasked with leading the day-to-day operations of the society as it implements the city’s effort to deal with homelessness in Kelowna.

She will leave her position with Journey Home Aug. 23.

No reason was given for her sudden departure but a statement from the society said Askland planned to pursue other opportunities.

In the statement, Askland was credited with laying the operational foundations, starting to build critical relationships and setting up the organization for success in relation to the 35 specific actions in the Journey Home strategy.

“Gaelene’s contributions have positioned the organization well for the journey ahead. The board recognizes the need to maintain momentum at this crucial time. With the diversity of strengths and sectors that are committed to ensuring the success of Journey Home, we are well positioned to mobilize and support the transition and work to determine who will lead the organization in the next phase,” says the statement.

READ MORE: At the helm of the Journey Home Society

When she was hired, Askland said she was thrilled to get the job and looked forward to implementing the strategy to address homelessness in our community.

“We have an amazing opportunity to pull the community together and find creative solutions to challenges that our whole country is facing,” she said at the time. “We have a significant task ahead of us but the strategy is in place and the time is right to get it done.”

But six months later she is leaving amid controversy in some areas of the city over provincially funded supportive housing project that provide homes for formerly homeless people, most of which allow drug use on-site.

Journey Home officials have conceded the organizations has faced heated lobbying and protests from those opposed to the supportive housing, which is called for in the Journey Home strategy.

In the statement from the society, it says under Askland’s leadership, several important collaborative projects got underway, projects that will improve the lives of those without homes. They include service mapping, shelter design, joint research efforts, and activities designed to build understanding and empathy.

“The Lived Experience Circle on Homelessness and Youth Advocates for Housing are making valuable contributions and shaping our work,” says the statement.

“This includes the launch of PEOPLE, a social enterprise that provides employment services supporting those with lived and living experience of homelessness with meaningful opportunities to contribute in community and business settings. We are also engaged in and learning from national networks such as Built for Zero and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.”

Phone calls seeking comment on Askland’s departure to Journey Home co-chairs Kyleen Myrah and Martin Bell were not immediately returned.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Six affordable homes slated for Lumby

The village and Habitat for Humanity enter agreement to build on Shields Avenue

COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm likely linked to Kelowna outbreak, says Interior Health

A team of doctors, nurses and health investigators are at the Krazy Cherry Farm to test employees

Lake Country motorhome fire deemed suspicious

Vehicle found fully engulfed Tuesday, July 14, just before 8:30 p.m.

Okanagan College bestows highest honour to five individuals

Couple from Westbank First Nation and men from Vernon, Kelowna and Shuswap named Honourary Fellows

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Separate trials set for 2018 Kelowna Canada Day killing

Four people have been charged with manslaughter in relation to Esa Carriere’s death, including two youths

Kootnekoff: New workplace harassment and violence requirements

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

Dyer: Buying an electric car

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Summerland Museum to hold walking tours

Community’s past will be explained during series of summer tours

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation following racist vandalism

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

HERGOTT: Goodbye column

Paul Hergott is taking a break from writing for Black Press

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Wet June, dry July: Okanagan on track for hot summer

Environment Canada said the summer and early fall will most likely be warmer than average

Most Read