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The Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry (WANM), a related ministry of the Diocese of New Westminster, Anglican Church of Canada is delighted to announce the hiring of a Volunteer and Program Manager on a one-year contract. The successful candidate is the Reverend Liz Hamel, a priest of the diocese. Liz began her new ministry post October 1, 2020.

Consisting of four Anglican parishes: St. Anslem’s, University Endowment Lands; St. Helen, West Point Grey; St. Philip, Dunbar; St John’s, Shaughnessy; WANM is a program that offers support, guidance, advocacy and care to their vulnerable neighbours on the street, or in unstable housing situations, or are newly housed.  The ministry has been operating for 13 years on the Westside of Vancouver and in that time have offered help in finding housing, assistance, in gaining access to social supports, support in finding food, community and connection, and also offering medical and social work support (through UBC Schools of Medicine and Social Work). 

At the core of the Neighbourhood Ministry is its street outreach program. Usually teams of 3-5 people (during COVID this has been reduced to 2 people) take part in the preparation and distribution of packages to homeless folk on the west side. Volunteers deliver nutritious packets of food, clothing and other necessities every Saturday morning, year-round. The greatest gift is that of conversation and companionship, and those living on the street have developed a trust in Neighbourhood Ministry volunteers.  The parishes donate items in-kind and cash, as well as provide volunteer help. This ministry initiative transforms the lives of those who prepare, give and receive the packets by fostering friendship and understanding.

This exciting opportunity to hire a professional staff member was made possible largely through the receipt of a grant from the City of Vancouver. The grant will enable WANM to develop programs and further expand their response to those in need.

Liz Hamel has experience and background working in areas of chaplaincy, advocacy and nursing care. She will work out of the parish office of St. Anselm’s and will report to the WANM Board. This is a varied and comprehensive position that will include but is not limited to:

  • Volunteer recruitment, training and retention
  • Regular auditing of service delivery to the recipient community to assist in the goal of continual improvement
  • Collaboration with other organizations to share training ideas and programs
  • Maintain and enhance effective relationships with government and other partners, i.e., City of Vancouver, BC Housing, UBC Schools of Medicine and Social Work, non-profit housing operations and Westside community programs that support mutual clients
  • There are also management and administration components including: budget management, reporting and communications.

When asked to offer a comment, WANM Board Chair, the Reverend John Stephens, Rector of St. John’s, Shaughnessy said: 

“We are delighted that Liz is taking on this role to lead WANM into a new future as we respond to the needs of our neighbours in this part of our city. “