United Way supports CMHA’s Resource Housing Outreach program in Prince George, designed to assist people with mental health challenges achieve and maintain stable housing. There’s no need for referrals – many people access services by walking in from the street, while others may be discharged from hospital or referred from agencies. The program employs a part-time coordinator who works Tuesday to Thursday from 8:30am-3:30pm, who provides individualized supports to individuals suffering with severe mental illness and other related issues including physical health, poverty, and addictions.
As of December 31, 2015, the program is on target to work with 40-60 individuals and families for the year, however the coordinator reports that rising housing prices have prevented people from finding safe and affordable housing. The program instead focuses on helping people get creative with how they manage their shared living environments, and finding safe ways to manage their stress. The coordinator states, “Our housing situation in Prince George is becoming grim for individuals and families living on or below the poverty line. We are actively involved at all levels in trying to find options for this and are working with BC Housing on some possible options.”
United Way’s Role: From Poverty to Possibility
We invest in CMHA’s program because one of our goals is to enable people who are living in poverty to obtain services that provide basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, medical care and legal support to help them build a better life. We do this by providing access to critical community health and social services that support individuals and families that are hungry, homeless or unemployed. But we also go beyond responding to the symptoms of poverty by investing in research and programs that address the underlying root causes.
CMHA was very helpful to me when I started from scratch in starting to furnish and provide a house with utensils, pots, pans and other things a person needs. It was greatly appreciated and helped in the adjustment of having a home by myself. I had to find this new home suddenly, so I was totally unprepared. I had very little since I lived with a roomate that provided everything but my own room and belongings. So thanks to CMHA for everything you did for me.
Jeanne has helped me through a tough time to find a place to live. She was very kind and courteous and very polite in my search. Without her help, I don’t know if I would be living where I am now. Jeanne also helped me with things I needed to furnish my apartment and I am truly indebted to her.