People mingle in an alleyway in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. British Columbia’s chief coroner is to release statistics for illicit drug overdose deaths in 2018 on Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Researchers look at how to help homeless in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside find, keep jobs

With $365,000 from B.C., project will look at how individualizing support can increase job retention

A new province-backed research program is underway in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, looking at how to better help those struggling with addiction and mental health issues find and keep suitable jobs.

The project, led by the Canadian Mental Health Association alongside Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of B.C., will be ongoing until February 2020, the B.C. government announced this week.

ALSO READ: Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

With $365,000 in provincial funding, the project team will look at how individualizing support can increase job retention for those at need, compared to standard employment services that already exist.

“At its heart, this research project is about helping people find and keep meaningful employment by meeting them where they are and providing them with wraparound supports,” Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson said in a news release.

“We know that when people get jobs where they feel valued, it improves their quality of life, provides a sense of purpose and enhances self-esteem and social belonging.”

Those facing homelessness often face challenges such as obtaining jobs without a proper addresses, government identification or social insurance number. Other barriers include not having a personal cellphone or access to email.

Seventy-two people will participate in the project, the province said. Half of the participants will receive individual-based support services, which includes housing and mental health and addiction resources, as well as help getting government identification, filing taxes and money management.

READ MORE: Tent cities show urgency for affordable housing needed yesterday

The other 36 participants will receive standard employment supports and services.

This B.C.-based research will be groundbreaking, as it uses medical professionals as an entry point to service delivery, researchers said.

“Our vision is to embed social and health services in a one-stop integrated model of care for people living in the Downtown Eastside,” said Skye Barbic, lead scientist, University of British Columbia. “To date, little work has focused on the impact of employment as a health and social intervention. Our project aims to bring together systems that are traditionally difficult to navigate for people living in the Downtown Eastside.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Water movement increased in Houston reservoirs

Measure in response to 2019 boil water notice

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

Miscommunication led to three people turned away at pipeline checkpoint: RCMP

Mounties were installing new access procedures after checkpoint was set up for Coastal GasLink site

Pipeline at centre of B.C. conflict is creating jobs for First Nations: chief

All 20 elected band councils along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route have signed benefits agreements

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Coastal GasLink repeats desire for meeting with hereditary chiefs

Coastal GasLink says they’re ready to meet with the hereditary chiefs at their convenience

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Most Read