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A symbolic walk of the cross through Kelowna's downtown singled out the victims of government cuts and highlighted the work people do for the poor.
"The healthier your community, the more you have people participating in the economy than living off the economy . . . Canada does a lot and has a lot to offer, but a country of our wealth and what we have should be doing even better."
The closure of the Kelowna Drop in Centre two years ago has boosted demand for food at the church. People often don't qualify to use a food bank, and those who do still can't make ends meet.
Fifty participants walked from First United Church to the Urban Outreach clinic on Leon Avenue, where medical staff treat street people every day. Leaders commended the work Michael Kors Handbags New Collection
Still, Giannelia has noticed more mentally ill people get lost in the system.
Good Friday walk through downtown Kelowna examines plight of poor
The procession doubled back along Queensway and walked to the site of the former Women's Resource Centre on St. Paul Street. Marginalized women have had to find other places to get advice and support since it closed more than a year ago.
Workers at big box stores make too little to afford a good place to own in Kelowna. More social housing makes economic sense because when people have their own place, their stress level drops and they can pay their bills, Giannelia said.
The procession continued to Metro Centre, a new church that caters to street people downtown. Two pastors hold worship services at the French Cultural Centre and gather at a smaller space on Water Street near Queensway.
The stations are different each year, but the issues remain the same, said Cheryl Perry, minister of outreach and education at Kelowna's First United Church.
Giannelia, pastor at Christ Lutheran Church at Gordon Drive and Springfield Road. She has seen governments work to increase the stock of affordable homes in the city and praised the Gospel Mission for providing social workers to help newcomers get off the street.
"This city desperately needs more affordable housing. Some of the rents I see as an outreach minister on weekdays astound me. . . . What's left is $60 or less (a month) to live on," she said.
"There was an instance last week at Inn from the Cold. Someone who was mentally distressed totally acted out and smashed some equipment. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.
The downtown tour mimics the annual Good Friday walk along Via Dolarosa in Jerusalem, the route Christ is believed to have taken to his crucifixion. The re enactment focuses on social justice by stopping at places frequented by underprivileged people.
large wooden cross to locations that represent the social safety net in the city.
The last stop was an empty alleyway behind the old Bargain store on Bernard Avenue, where people spoke of those who live without homes and of Inn from the Cold, a charity that shelters people in winter.
"We note the absence of that resource for Mk Bags Crossbody people new to Canada," said Perry, "people who renew their work visas every year, people who come here in the summer to work as migrant workers."
The need for such supports keeps growing, said Patricia Michael Kors Ava Dove
"I'm just amazed at the increase of people in need," Perry said.
"They need some kind of other help. I feel for the police who have to deal with this."
street nurses do and moved on to the former federal immigration office at Leon and Abbott Street.
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