Mary's Place

Mary's Place is one of three second stage housing options offered to women as part of a two year pilot project funded by BC Housing and ICCS. Watch this excellent Nanaimo Shaw TV report on how Mary's Place has turned out to be a "good news" story for Jennifer:

Background

In 2012 ICCS identified gaps in the housing continuum following the successful opening of new supportive housing in Nanaimo. While many chronically homeless individuals were delighted to move into permanent supportive housing, others continued to return to Samaritan House for a variety of reasons. Significant among these was the need for greater support during each day and a quality that many individuals described about Samaritan House that they had really missed. They described this quality with words like "community," "acceptance," and "familiar." In 2013 ICCS collaborated with BC Housing to plan and launch a pilot project to gather data over a two year period on which combination of services provided the best support for women who fell through the identified gaps.

Housing First

Lisa's Story

Meet Lisa, a woman with hope, who courageously shares about living without a home, finding support and compassion, and making a new start. As Lisa says, "I'm now at a point in my life where its the beginning of my new life."

Lisa answers the questions:

  • "What brought you to Samaritan House?"
  • "Tell us about your life now."
  • "Was there a difference for you moving into the transition suites upstairs?"
  • "What is life like for you now?"
  • "How do you feel about your new responsibilities?"

Your donation to one of the Samaritan House funds through Canada Helps, will help us continue to support and encourage women like Lisa as they gather the peices of their lives together and make a new start. Please join us in this important work.

Community Participates in Samaritan House Design Charette

On Tuesday July 24th, ICCS hosted a design charrette at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre where 30 participants from the community shared ideas and information related to the re-development of Samaritan House. The day began with a video tour of Samaritan House by Program Director Ronell Bosman, which culminates in a glimpse of the recently purchased lot beside Samaritan House where the new building will occur.

It is hoped that the redevelopment of the site will address 5 needs:

ICCS Announces The Closure Of Sophia House

We are sad to announce that Sophia House will close its doors on May 31st 2012.

The decision was made after a careful assessment of the program at the financial year end.

A portion of funding for Sophia House comes from the Ministry of Social Development and is tied directly to client stays. Under this funding model as client placements drop, so does income. Occupancy rates for the program were significantly below sustainable levels for part of the year, leading to a funding deficit. Restructuring of the program to widen the client base, while helpful, did not fully compensate for the loss of revenue.

After discussions with our main funding agency, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, we together agreed that the program does not fit those clients with the most acute needs in the community and therefore the program will be curtailed.

ICCS recognizes the ongoing need for supportive recovery on Vancouver Island and remains open to opportunities for creating such programs through a variety of funding options.

The program did see invaluable successes for individuals who stayed at Sophia House and we extend our heartfelt thanks to our Sophia House staff, our community partners, and our funding agencies. It was an honour to work with you on this project.

We look forward to new opportunities to support and encourage recovery and mental health in our community.

Coldest Night of the Year Walkers Raise $22,000 for Nanaimo Programs

Coldest Night of the Year Walkers159 people in 20 teams of walkers braved the evening chill to raise money and awareness for the needs of people who are homeless in Nanaimo. ICCS Executive Director Violet Hayes thanked all the volunteers and participants in the event and said, " We have raised about $22,000 so far of our goal of $25,000!"

The cross-Canada event was well publicized and local sponsors included Shaw Cable TV, The Nanaimo News Bulletin, The Wave radio station, The Wolf radio station, and event host, St. Paul's Anglican Church.

ICCS's next fundraiser is the "Sweets for the Streets" silent auction scheduled for April 13th at 7pm at First Baptist church. This is fundraising event for the expansion to Samaritan House. Tickets will be available soon. Last year's auction saw hundreds of happy bidders take home goods and services donated by local businesses. This year promises to be bigger and better with thousands of dollars' worth of donations already received.

2012 Coldest Night of the Year Info Video

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