Salvation Army Dignity Days – FREE SERVICES – April 10th

Salvation Army will hold their annual Dignity Day next Wednesday, April 10th.

Dignity Day aims to connect low income/homeless/at risk residents of the North Shore with as many direct services as possible.

This year, services should include a Nurse Practitioner, Foot Care Nurses, Lung Testing, Hair Cuts, Free Tax Help, Housing Advice, Outreach Workers, Megaphone Magazine/Hope In Shadows Vendor Program, and more (subject to change).

The day starts at 8am with a free hot breakfast. Services open at 9am, and continue to 4pm. There is a free lunch for everyone at 1pm.

Salvation Army is located at 105 West 12th Street.

15 tips to help the homeless in your community

Lookout Emergency Aid Society recently released a list of 15 things you can do to help solve homelessness in your community. From donating clothing, to unerstanding the causes of homelessness, to helping educate your neighbours, this list is one small step in answering the question “what can I do to help those who are less fortunate in my community.”

Find the list here:

http://www.lookoutsociety.ca/PDF-2012/Homeless%20January%20Tips.pdf

North Shore proposed support/recovery house for women needs your support!

The District of North Vancouver has recently proposed the creation of a Support Recovery House for women struggling with addictions on the North Shore. More information on that project can be found here: http://www.dnv.org/article.asp?a=4766&c=747

Those who are advocating for the house have asked that community members help support the process by writing letters of support to mayor and council, as well as local media. A sample letter – as well as contact information for press and council – can be found below.

CONTACTS:

Letters can be sent to the District of North Van Mayor Walton and Council at dnvcouncil@dnv.org

Letters can be sent to the North Shore News tomailto:editor@nsnews.com

Letters to the North Shore Outlook can be sent to editor@northshoreoutlook.com

SAMPLE LETTER

To Whom It May Concern:

Homelessness, mental health and addiction are among the most significant social issues affecting our communities today. They are interrelated and increasing; and negatively impacting the quality of life of all our citizens. These are difficult issues that we must continue to address.

That is why, as a member of the North Shore Homelessness Task Force our organization is pleased to support Turning Point Recovery Society’s proposal to develop a nine-bed women’s addictions support recovery home in the District of North Vancouver. There are currently no licensed residential care homes for women on the North Shore with addiction issues to get well in their home community.

Turning Point is a licensed, non-profit organization that has been in operation for over 30 years improving the health and well-being of individuals with addiction issues, their families and the communities they serve. Turning Point’s programs provide solutions to one of the most critical health care issues facing our communities today.

Their programs and services provide positive solutions to a disease that negatively impacts not only the addicted, but their families, co-workers and the entire community – providing vulnerable individuals with the necessary tools to acquire self-sufficiency.

The property that Turning Point seeks to develop at 2670 Lloyd Avenue, North Vancouver is an ideal location for a women’s support recovery residence. It is tranquil and serene and somewhat private allowing for women to work on their recovery in a natural environment that is both healing and nurturing.

Providing women with addiction issues on the North Shore with the opportunity to recover in their own community without having to leave their homes and support networks is a cause we support. We look to Council to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to helping our own by supporting Turning Point’s proposal.

Respectfully,

OTHER INFO/WAYS TO HELP

The key upcoming dates are:

  • January 28th– Deadline for the Alternate Approval Process (public counter petition regarding the park purposes amendment bylaw)
  • March 19th – Public Hearing for the re-zoning application at 2670 Lloyd Avenue.

North Shore News: Seniors add to homeless numbers – October 10, 2012

From: http://www.nsnews.com/news/Seniors+homeless+numbers/7366916/story.html

THIS fall, a 75-year-old woman spent her nights sleeping outside at Ambleside Park.

The news came from Paul Butler, who spoke to District of North Vancouver council last week on behalf of the North Shore Homelessness Task Force.

Homelessness Action Week takes place from Oct. 7 to 13 on the North Shore, and for Butler, it’s a crucial time to call attention to the seniors pushed from their homes by ballooning bills and the young people unable to gain a foothold in the job market.

“We’re seeing an increase in young people and more importantly right now, an increase in seniors who aren’t able to stay in their own homes because they’re one cheque away from losing their home or not being able to pay for their hydro bills,” Butler said.

The dearth of inexpensive housing is the cause of most homelessness on the North Shore according to Butler and North Shore Housing Centre manager Linda Fox.

“People that come from the North Shore, they don’t want to be housed in other places, they want to stay in their home where their roots are. There is a genuine lack of affordable housing on this side of the water,” Fox said.

Speaking to Butler at the Oct. 3 council meeting, Coun. Alan Nixon asked if homeowners could be convinced to open the doors of the approximately 20,000 to 30,000 unoccupied bedrooms in the District of North Vancouver.

“There’s still a stigma of what a homeless person is,” Butler replied.

Many curious citizens who examine local homeless shelters are surprised at its inhabitants, according to Fox.

“It’s not all the stereotypical homeless person that’s drug-addicted. In fact that’s probably the smallest percentage of the homelessness issues on the North Shore,” she said. “We’re even finding the working-class individuals are starting to become displaced.”

Recently, many improvements have been made in finding transitional housing for people who would otherwise be homeless, according to Butler.

This is largely due to a second full-time tenant support worker on the North Shore, who was hired with funds raised from Dundarave’s Festival of Lights.

A lot of help is necessary in the transition phase, according to Fox, when previously homeless people are trying to furnish an apartment and pay utilities while working a job that barely covers rent.

For Butler, the problem comes down to the price of housing.

“There are many roads to homelessness, but there are few roads out that don’t travel through adequate affordable housing and appropriate support services. Solutions to the problems of homelessness in our community will require continued political will on the part of community and council,” he said.

“The importance of (Homelessness Action Week) is to bring awareness to the community, bring awareness to those affected individuals that there are some services out there that they may not be aware of. They aren’t alone. The community is out there actively trying to assist,” said Fox.

Connect Day, which is slated for Oct. 10 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Salvation Army on West 12th Street, includes a health clinic, immunizations, clothing vouchers, haircuts, and connections to employment programs and income assistance.

A youth dinner is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Youth Safe House on West First Street in North Vancouver. The dinner is scheduled to include outreach and hygiene kits.

A mother and kids lunch is slated for 11 a.m. on Thursday at the John Braithwaite Community Centre. The meal includes counselling programs, fitness access cards, employment programs and free child minding.

On Friday night the Ambleside Youth Centre in West Vancouver hosts a movie and discussion night beginning at 7 p.m.

The week is scheduled to finish off with a street soccer game at Norseman Field at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

In 2013, the North Shore Culinary Education Society is scheduled to start a program in the City of North Vancouver to give at-risk people training to help them land jobs in the food industry, according to Butler.

The North Shore Housing Centre is largely assisted by large and small donations from concerned residents, according to Fox, who says even pair of socks or a towel is helpful.

“Everything that anyone gives us helps us to restart somebody’s life,” she said.

jshepherd@nsnews.com