What is Circle of Care? It’s a housing program that addresses the physical health, mental health and spiritual needs of individuals. It’s a model based in partnership. CMHA North West Vancouver, VCH Health Connections Clinic and North Shore Alliance Church, work in collaboration to provide support and services to the residents in this home. Each partner provides unique but equally important services to help individuals in need access and maintain their housing.
North Shore Alliance Church provide services through coffee time and a staff person to build meaningful connections with the participants. Health Connections Clinic provides medical support (either at the clinic or through their Outreach Nurse Practitioner). CMHA has a dedicated housing coordinator for the house. Their role is to provide housing coordination and oversee the group home. This includes administering agreements with residents, establishing and enforcing ground rules, hosting regular check ins, overseeing transitions in and out of the homes, collecting rent etc. Their services are complemented by CMHA’s existing outreach services.
Individuals are selected to participate in this program/live at this house by a committee made up of representatives from the three organizations. The residents must be:
- A client of VCH Health Connections Clinic
- Have a diagnosis of mental illness (PTSD, anxiety, depression etc)
- Have a history of or significant risk of homelessness
- Be open to connection with North Shore Alliance (not necessarily to become a member of the congregation but rather to attend weekly coffee time)
- Be connected to CMHA’s Homeless Outreach worker
As at June 2020, we have two Circle of Care group homes in North Vancouver.
Canadian Mental Health Association North West Vancouver aims to better the mental health of the community by offering services, support, and information to individuals living with mental health conditions, as well as their families. Services available include low cost counselling, homeless outreach, employment services, mental health training, peer support and navigation.
VCH Health Connections Clinic provides primary health care for North Shore residents who don’t have a regular Family Doctor (GP) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) and who face complex health and social needs. This can involve complex physical health needs, mental health challenges, addictions as well as socio-economic challenges. Their team consists of physicians, nurse practitioners, social work, substance use nursing and chronic disease nursing. They are funded through a partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health and the North Shore Division of Family Practice.
North Shore Alliance Church has been serving the spiritual and physical needs of the North Shore for over 60 years. The church has a history of community involvement through their partnership in CityFest and the North Shore Christmas Dinner. They have a passion for serving the needs of the North Shore marginalized through their Coffee Time ministry which, for the last 10 years, has been providing food cards to 90+ persons a week, as well as life skills groups, and one on one support for those who desire it. During CoVID19 NSAC has run a Grocery Shop and Food Card Delivery program for over a hundred North Shore residents each week to encourage physical-distancing for our city’s most vulnerable while providing them with the food and care they have needed.