Community Services which is a component of the Advocacy Office at St. Paul’s Anglican Church finds good quality, community-based housing for the homeless in Vancouver. This compassionate service has a number of steps:the homeless person is accompanied throughout the processassistance is provided in applying for a rental apartment or suite, and in advocating for and assisting the clients in their presentation to the rental agent assistance is provided helping to settle the new resident into their new accommodation and in assuming appropriate behavior continued support is available to the new resident for up to one year.
The one-on-one accompaniment is the key to success. In 2014, over 200 homeless people found good quality residential accommodation throughout the city through the work of Community Services at St. Paul’s Society. After one year, the vast majority of clients are still suitably housed and engaged in their new community.
The program costs $50,000 per year to operate, virtually all of that being for salary and transportation costs. This works out to approximately $250 per person housed, a highly cost effective strategy.
St Paul’s Anglican Church has been providing core funding for the program as well as fully serviced offices for the staff and volunteers but is no longer able to provide that funding, although the parish will continue providing some administrative support. As of August 31st, 2015, the program will have to close, regardless of its cost-effectiveness. Few, if any, granting organizations provide core funding. For lack of $40,000 (the remainder of the operating budget will be sourced from an existing donor base) 200 homeless people will continue without a home and with very little hope of becoming contributing members of our society.
This is the only program of its type in Metro Vancouver. The non-profit society which operates the program is desperately trying to find some level of core support. For more information or to offer support to the Community Services program at St. Paul’s Society please contact the St. Paul's Advocacy Office. All donations are eligible for a charitable tax receipt.