Kelowna Indigenous Support Program

About the program

Mamas for Mamas offers a community wide Indigenous support program, providing culturally sensitive and appropriate services to Aboriginal Individuals and families, both on- and off-reserve. This program is designed with the United National model of “Nothing About Us Without Us” and engages various levels of poverty relief and wellness supports to enhance their quality of life.   

This program emphasizes a person/family-centred and holistic approach to community support work and meets families where they are emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. We work closely with the local Friendship Centres, The Metis Society, The Aboriginal Advocacy program at school District 23, the health authorities and homeless shelters/transition homes.  

Under our Indigenous Support program we offer specialized care for youth under the Champion Program for those 18 and under, and bridged support for youth who have aged out of foster care up to age 24.  

As part of what we can offer, we provide 1-1 support with a highly trained compassionate resource navigator and access to our Karma Market coordinator. We offer material items like clothing, backpacks, hygiene products, food, and items for all members of the family. The Indigenous Support Program identifies barriers and provides resources and immediate supports to low income and struggling mamas, papas and caregivers to access basic needs to provide a healthy and safe living environment for their children. Issues we commonly support surround Mamas and families facing homelessness, abuse and violence, lack of basic resources including food, clothing, shoes, medical interventions not covered by MSP and access to menstrual/hygiene products

The program also helps facilitate resource navigation, addresses current gaps to prevent further poverty, provides access to supplementary diapers, wipes, and required baby items such as cribs, highchairs, and infant car seats. The at-risk program also refers internally to our mental health counselling and groups. For especially complex cases, we refer to internal support programs as appropriate including the Family Court Support Program, helping families navigate the court system and providing family based support.  


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Programs

Other Side of Homelesness

To understand how a mom with a newborn and a toddler can end up living in their car in Canada, we must first re-examine our perception of poverty and the metrics that define it. Our current system does not accurately reflect the cost of living per capita when determining poverty cut-off lines, leaving thousands of caregivers at a disadvantage. Their income might appear adequate when compared to a national average, but in reality, it falls short of meeting their needs.

Addressing homelessness among caregivers and their children involves tackling both relative and absolute homelessness. Relative homelessness refers to those living in inadequate housing conditions, while absolute homelessness involves individuals lacking any form of shelter. Homelessness is more than just a lack of shelter—it's an obstacle to health, stability, and opportunity. Our campaign is committed to creating sustainable solutions that provide not only housing but also the necessary support systems to help families thrive.

By emphasizing advocacy, community engagement, and strategic partnerships, we aim to build a future where every caregiver and child has a safe and stable place to call home.
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