HPS FUNDED PROGRAMS2017-04-21T10:02:12-07:00

Prince George 2015-2017

Through the recommendation of CPAH CAB (Community Advisory Board) 7 sub-projects are currently funded to provide programs / services to address barriers / needs of individuals that are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Below is some information about each project and a snapshot of statistics reported for the third quarter (01-10-2015 to 31-12-2015).

Active Support Against Poverty (ASAP) > Tenant Support Worker (TSW)

The TSW assesses the needs of clients who access the Drop-In-Centre and supports clients with obtaining and maintaining housing at ASAP housing facilities. The project will help to ensure that tenants and at risk individuals receive a wide variety of services including food, hygiene and health care.

The following assistance was provided:

  • 187 clients were assisted, of which 163 were aboriginal. Of the total number of clients served, 30 were assisted with Housing Loss Prevention Services, 57 were able to access Support Services and 100 were able to access Prevention Services.
  • This project is required to track information and submit a HERIN annual report through the Community Entity.

Positive Living North (PLN) > Fire Pit Drop-In Centre

Through programming and services provided at the center – individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are assisted by providing improved access to nutritional food services. A Housing Support Worker (HSW) assists individuals facing homelessness, poverty and addictions by addressing both immediate needs and long term strategies to reduce homelessness in the community.

The following assistance was provided:

  • A total of 7525 patrons accessed nutritional and programming support. Of these 385 were new patrons.
  • During this period 6777 meals were served (note – not everyone visiting the Fire Pit stays for a meal). 225 patrons were referred to other Community Service Providers – for housing security, food security, addictions support, health support, transportation support.
  • The HSW assists on average 3 to 4 clients per day. There were approximately 3 to 5 referrals related to housing on a weekly basis.

Prince George Brain Injured Group Society (PG BIG) > Survival and Beyond

The Employment Facilitator (EF) provides case management and employment assistance to those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness. The EF works with community service organizations and businesses to develop / create employment opportunities. Individuals have increased access to volunteer and employment opportunities. As a result, their circumstances stabilize, leading to an increased likelihood of maintaining housing, greater self-sufficiency and improved social interactions.

The following assistance was provided:

  • 4 clients were able to obtain Competitive Employment. 12 clients were able to obtain Supported Employment. 8 clients were able to obtain a Volunteer Position. 4 Clients obtained improved employment status. 2 Clients experienced stronger social networks. A total of 4 new jobs were obtained. Currently there are 19 ongoing patrons that are working. A total of 37 ongoing patrons have been served.
  • This project is required to track information and submit a HERIN annual report through the Community Entity.

Success story:

  • EF – people at risk of homelessness paths to employment is not a straight line and can take a very long time – often years, involving steps backwards and timeouts for health issues,

St Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) > Sustaining Positive Growth

The project aims at improving the health of individuals and families by providing food services to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness – nutritious meals, food hampers, fruit and vegetable hampers. A Social Concerns Worker (SCW) assists individuals to work through crisis situations, provides information and awareness of community resources, refers when possible and assists people to pursue improved living and employment opportunities.

The following assistance was provided:

  • A total of 25,214 meals were served – i.e. and average of 274 meals per day.
  • 360 Emergency Hampers were handed out – 1,174 people were served through these hampers.
  • 770 Fruit & Vegetable Hampers were handed out – 1,717 people were served through these hampers.
  • 377 clients accessed services from the Social Concerns Office.
  • 3,579 Volunteer hours were provided at the Drop-in-Centre to assist with all the work above.

The Northern John Howard Society of BC (NJHS) > Transitional Support Coordinator (TSC)

The TSC provides support and assistance in securing housing to individuals being released into the community after incarceration, end of parole (end of residency conditions), discharge from a facility (i.e. Baldy Hughes, Detox) or otherwise involved in the justice system. This includes a large portion of men and women in shelters across the city or living in small camps. These men and women living in unstable conditions are at risk of reoffending and returning to the justice system which creates an unstable, unhealthy cycle. The TSC is able to access facilities and start the process of housing prior to an individual’s release and continue to support the individual once housed by providing employment services and life skills training and counselling.

The following assistance was provided:

  • 54 clients were served – (42 Male, 12 Female) – housing placement, housing loss prevention, crisis support, budget planning, referrals to additional community resources (including food, clothing, addiction treatment, mental health resources, employment, education, income supports).
  • This project is required to track information and submit a HERIN annual report through the Community Entity.

Success stories:

  • TSC – there is a high demand for transitional support from correctional and treatment centers directly into stable housing. Verbal feedback from clients and community shows that there is a great need for this service and that individuals are very thankful for it.
  • TSC – A middle aged male was released from a federal Institution approximately one year ago. Hesuffers from bipolar disorder, severe depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, he was released to St Patrick’s House and benefitted from daily counselling and attending church. However, he continued to struggle with finding appropriate medications and faced daily depression, insomnia, mood swings, anxiety, and social anxiety. He moved into a rooming house, but due to his mental illness found it very difficult to live in a setting with multiple people. He accessed The Northern John Howard Society of BC to help him find clean, quiet, and affordable housing. He was at risk of homelessness and had two weeks to find housing with a negative balance in his bank account. The Northern John Howard Society reached out to the Prince George community and Ketso Yoh Outreach offered to help him apply for a rent supplement through the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP). Within two weeks, he had signed a lease and was eligible for the maximum rent supplement amount to help him afford rent in a quiet, secure one bedroom suite. Furthermore, he began taking new medications and regained some strength and energy. He started working with an employment coach at NJHSBC and found part-time work painting. He has started a six-month Kickstart employment program, and is eligible for HPP rent supplements until the completion of this program. He has been successfully housed for the past five months, for the first time in a long time, he is proud of what he has accomplished and believes in himself. He states that this has been a difficult year for him and that he is very grateful for the community supports that have helped him along the way.

Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George (AHSPG) > Community Voice Mail (CVM)

CVM distributes free voice mail phone numbers to people who do not have a constant, reliable form of contact. The program keeps the lines of communication open between housing providers, social services, health care, mental health care and other support services. CVM connects clients to services in the community and allows or improved social integration.

The following assistance was provided:

  • 37 New clients were registered during this period.

Success stories:

  • “Joe” was looking for work for months, his rent was due and he knew things would work out, but he had no plan. Then he saw a poster about the CVM, he signed up at PGNAETA. He signed up for the Bridges program offered by Carrier Sekani Family Services, he got accepted. Right after the training ended he got a job. He called to say “Kudos to the CVM” because he got training and a job using this service.
  • “Hello, everything is great, and thank goodness for CVM, and I’ve got a new place, subsidized housing, I’ve gotten some jobs since using this number, and I’ve made a new friend, whose having a baby, so I will also have a babysitting job, so thank you.”
  • “Hi, it’s Mary, it’s really helped me having the voice mail, I’ve found a home, I’m moving to a townhouse home at the end of the month, and I’ve found a job, I’m working here for reduced rent. As far as my health care provider, I have my old care card again, it’s really helpful thank you very much.”
  • “Hi I’m really great, I am in a medial course so I can work at the hospital and I’m in a house with friends and everything is working out, I’m in Jobs 101 and if it hadn’t been for you folks I wouldn’t have any of this, thanks, bye.”
  • Richie – “I have mental health problems right now and I am using the program to line up all my appointments so that I can get well and then I am going to put it on my resumes.”
  • “Barb” at Work BC called and asked for more numbers as they were running out so fast, she said, “This is a very good program, people are really using it, and we can’t keep up.”
  •  “A client of mine came to me and he was confused because he had so many phone message numbers of family and friends and he wasn’t getting his messages. He felt helpless. I gave him a Community Voice Mail number and he used it on a daily basis. An employer was able to reach this client through the system which resulted in employment. The client was unemployed since last summer, he was very happy that the voice mail system was available to him. He felt relieved and more confident been able to provide employers with a phone number. He is employed and satisfied with his job and as a result is living healthy. PGNAETA
  • “One client was homeless and living in her car while job searching, I gave her a CVM number and she came in several times a day to check her messages. It was one month before she received a call fo an interview, it was on her birthday, she cried, well we both cried, we were so happy. During the month of job searching she received messages from her family and friends, it was very uplifting for her and gave her the strength to carry on. This is very important.” St Vincent De Paul
  • “A homeless client came for help to look for housing. He did not want to call landlords as he was staying at a shelter and did not want to leave that number for them to call back. He did not want people to know he was homeless as he felt ashamed. He was unsure of what to do next and seemed very lost and felt ashamed for not having a phone. The CVM allowed him to make calls freely for housing and later for work, because he could give them a personal phone number. This client found a housing as a result of the CVM and he has put an ad on Kijiji with his number looking for work.” Northern John Howard Society.

Kerry Pateman Planning Services (KPPS) > Prince George Housing First Readiness Assessment

This was a focused 6 month project. During this time KPPS conducted a community assessment of Housing First (HF) readiness in Prince George, in order to meet the HF priority in the Community Plan 2014-2019. The overall objective of the project was to set baseline data that explored and documented the current activities in the community within the Service Canada mandated HF concept, along with identifying potential gaps and weaknesses that could be addressed to strengthen the communities’ response and future direction.

An Association Advocating for Women and Children (AWAC) > Prince George Housing First Program

This project will provide immediate housing (without preconditions) with access to supports and services on an ongoing basis. The project will employ a Housing First Coordinator (HFC) and a Housing First Worker (HFW) who will reduce homelessness in Prince George by offering supports and services that will result in permanent housing for a minimum of five chronic and episodically homeless individuals. (Click here to view definitions of chronic and episodically homeless.)

Under this Call for Proposal the project is to develop a system and approach that can be transferable in future years to other agencies for delivery of Housing First. This project will help to reduce homelessness in Prince George by establishing a Housing First guidebook specific to the community, that agencies who are interested in starting a Housing First program can utilize. Although there are other Housing First projects established in the province, this project is specific to PG; which currently does not have a Housing First program. This guidebook can also be utilized by other smaller northern communities to support them in the setting up of a Housing First program.

The following assistance was provided:

  • This program started on 15 January 2016 so no statistics are available yet.
  • This project is required to track information and submit a HERIN annual report through the Community Entity.