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

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Nanaimo mom will celebrate 40th in style after $500,000 lotto win

Crystal Giesbrecht matches all four numbers on BC/49 Extra

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Most Read