April 30th, 2022
The regional Strengthening Communities’ Services project has now been operational for six months to provide outreach, support and improved service coordination to unsheltered community members on the North Shore. In the first six months of the grant, the project has increased regional capacity to work with unhoused persons, Indigenous organizations and others working with our under-served community members in various ways. Below are some of the areas of work completed thus far.
Through hiring outreach and cultural support workers, both Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations have been working with individuals who identify as Indigenous on the North Shore alongside Lookout Society. Coordination efforts between the Nations, municipalities, and Lookout Society have been created through regular team meet ups. Squamish Nation has also been able to provide access to temporary shelter rooms in motels to individuals experiencing homelessness.
The District of North Vancouver has secured a RV Van Conversion to serve as a mobile unit to be used as a base for provision of outreach services at locations across the North Shore to meet people where they live. The mobile unit also facilitates community conversation and public engagement about homelessness through attending public events. This work has been spearheaded by the hired Community Access Coordinator.
Lookout Society has established a mobile outreach team including an outreach operations manager, two full time outreach workers, and an Indigenous outreach worker. Lookout has also secured a vehicle equipped with hygiene and health supplies and two e-bikes to help access areas of the North Shore that may not be as accessible by car.
The City of North Vancouver will be expanding an existing shower service at John Braithwaite Community Center as an enhanced shower program with the services of a community access worker who can provide community members with information on additional resources and other supplies. The shower program is expected to operate 6 days/week.
The District of West Vancouver has relocated their temporary shower program from Ambleside Field House to the West Vancouver Community Center and has hired an Access Services Coordinator to provide additional supports to patrons accessing the shower program, including comfort/care kits.
CNV Library has launched an Open Door Community Hub at CNV Library as a warming/cooling/clean air/safe space program and hired an Access Worker to facilitate various activities and provide a welcoming space for community members twice a week with care kits, snacks, and refreshments.
Cultural safety and mental health first aid training will be provided through the grant to all frontline workers.