Susan is a client of the Island Crisis Care Society who was helped into housing at Newcastle Place in Nanaimo after living in a tent city and becoming sick from living outdoors. YouTube

Giving others a hand up is a precious gift

Your financial or volunteer support helps Island Crisis Care Society deliver much-needed programs

When Susan ran into health problems that prevented her from working, and was ultimately evicted from her home, she wound up on the street, ultimately living in Nanaimo’s tent city.

After a trip to the hospital emergency department with worsened health due to living in cold and wet conditions, she discovered the support of a community organization whose primary mandate is to get a roof over people’s heads.

“Sometimes it’s easy to see people who are experiencing homelessness as ‘the others’ and not feel a connection to their story,” says Corrie Corfield, assistant executive director of Island Crisis Care Society. The organization operates seven shelter, housing and recovery sites between Nanaimo and Oceanside and runs 11 programs that support 150 to 200 people daily.

“The reality is, some folks have gone through troubles in their lives and simply haven’t had access to supports,” Corfield adds. Those supports, as in Susan’s case, often start with providing a temporary or transitional home or a healthy meal.

Everyone has a story

No matter where a person is at or what their life experience has been, they deserve the chance to be helped and be supported to help themselves, Corfield says. “All the people we serve have stories – many things can lead people to homelessness. Often it’s a combination of experiences, trauma and hopelessness.”

It can be difficult to ask for help, especially when people are at their most vulnerable, then “add to that the stigma that comes when the struggle you’re going through involves substance use and/or mental health challenges, which tend to be socially unacceptable issues” she says.

Long history of helping Islanders

For 30 years the Island Crisis Care Society has offered a hand up to those in need. Today it offers a “spectrum of care,” that meets people where they are, Corfield says.

“We have shelters that people access when they’re in those crisis moments and they need a safe place to be for that night or day; safe and stable supportive housing, recovery-based housing spaces and outreach programs. All of our programs allow people to move along at their own pace as they move through their journey.”

How you can help

If you’d like to help the Society provide support, shelter and safety for vulnerable residents and work to improve their quality of life, you can make a tax-deductible donation or volunteer in a variety of ways. “We offer a whole continuum of care, and when people donate they’re supporting that continuum of care,” Corfield says.

Call 778-441-4227, visit islandcrisiscaresociety.ca or send an email to info@iccare.ca for more information. Or check out the latest happenings on their Facebook page.

 

Getting people off the streets and into stable and safe shelter and housing is part of the mandate of the Island Crisis Care Society.

Just Posted

Bowser attic blaze contained by fire crews

Early-morning stove fire spread to attic

The Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach to re-open on Aug. 11

Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

COVID-19: SD69 working on how to organize schools for planned fall re-opening

Qualicum School District required to have plan to ministry by Aug. 26

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read