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.

Just Posted

PHOTO: Abbotsford’s dashing first police constable

Police post throwback photo on their social media accounts

Traffic accident on Highway 1

Hour long backup from Abbotsford to Langley

VIDEO: Abbotsford driver uses aisle of bus for rainy-day cardio routine

Driver makes productive use of his break for an on-board walking session

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Memorial to deceased teen stays in place through Labour Day

Hundreds of tributes have been left at the Walnut Grove skate park

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

Most Read