Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outreach Report for September 9th, 2023
Submitted by Kate Mackin
Client count: 19
Mary, Suzi and I met at St. Philip’s. Mary and I loaded her car with 16 packets, sleeping bags, some assorted fleece jackets and other clothing, sandwiches, eggs, oranges, etc. and set off for Point Grey Village. Suzi gave Mary four or five McDonalds $10 gift cards to hand out.
We saw D at 10th and Sasamat and he took a packet and food. He complained of being man-handled by police. He also has a chronic shoulder injury. D is aware that his shoulder requires surgery. Then Mary drove us to St. Helen’s, where we did not see B, but his bedroll and belongings were on the porch in uncharacteristic disarray, so we left him a packet.
Mary drove us to the fence, where we saw T, M, and newcomer R. All three men took packets and R accepted a sleeping bag. Sandwiches and toiletries were handed out and the men seemed to be in good spirits.
We then proceeded to the West 4th and Vine location. First we saw R, in front of the McDonald’s at Balsam, who took most of a packet and a $10 gift card. P was in his accustomed spot, vending papers, and he took a packet and a shirt. T was asking for change in front of the Whole foods, and he accepted a packet and other foods, and was pleased by a trial size shampoo I found in the toiletries bag. At the South East corner of 4th and Vine we saw K, who was new to me. K looked like he had had a very bad night indeed, and he gratefully accepted a packet, food, and sleeping bag. In front of the Shopper’s on 4th we saw T, who took a packet and food. T is still hopeful that BC Housing will find a place for him.
Driving down West 4th Ave. eastward we kept our eyes open, looking for any persons in need. By the northbound on ramp to the Granville Bridge we saw a young woman who looked to be carrying many bags containing her belongings, but when we drove around the block in an attempt to see her again, we could not find her.
September 9th was an outdoor market day in South Granville, and so parking was very scarce. Providence provided a prime parking spot directly across from the VSB park on 10th , and we immediately noticed two sets of blue tarps at some distance from each other. The first set proved to be J and A, who were there with their belongingss and carts. We gave them packets, clothes, and listened to a request for a working tent. A has become homeless recently. He is employed. The other tarp and cart set up belonged to a man named A (another A), who appeared to be recovering from drug use. He was not very responsive, but gratefully accepted a packet and food.
Walking towards Granville, Mary and I were struck immediately by the presence of R, S, and W S, “hanging out” on the corner. W recognized Mary. We had not seen him on our outings for some time. Each accepted a packet and food, and we pressed clothing upon the three men. Suzi had included some sweets with the supplies from St. Philip’s and I handed out individually wrapped Godiva chocolates.
The street was bustling with shoppers as we walked up Granville towards the Shoppers. G was seated in front. At that point we had already handed out all the packets. We were able to give G a McDonald’s gift card as well as PB & J sandwich and other fresh food.
We walked back down Granville to 10th and around the block to the Circle K, inspecting the alleyways as we did so. At Circle K we met C, a woman who has been living in a shelter on and off for years. She took food and a gift card and we happened to have a cherry red women’s XL waterproof shell, which was a perfect fit for C. We took a final look around the Southeast block of Granville and Broadway and returned to the car.
Out of packets, but with one gift card left, we kept our eyes open for unexpected persons on the Broadway corridor, but saw no one. We looked for St first in front of the Dollar General, but found him in front of Tim Horton’s. I had noted a black t-shirt with an environmental logo earlier in the day, and so armed with a gift card, t-shirt, and some gummy candies, as well as eggs and oranges, we approached St and wished him well.
Having handed out just about all the goods we had, Mary and I decided that we would part ways at Waterloo so I could do some shopping before returning to South Granville.
If the reports inspire you to help, learn more, or become part of an indoor or outdoor team, please contact Joan Stewart at [email protected]
The Neighbourhood Ministry asks you to help us by donating the following items in the Narthex baskets on Sundays:
Please keep to the list. When we get other items, we must donate them elsewhere, which creates more work for our volunteers. Please donate food stuffs that will not expire for at least two months. Thank you!
Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outing Report for August 12, 2023
Client count: 18
Jane and I began by meeting at 11th Ave and Spruce Street and proceeding to St. Philip’s to collect packages, sleeping bags, and miscellaneous food stuffs and toiletries. We then proceeded to 10th and Sasamat to see if anyone was about. I thought I saw D, but if so he must have moved on before we got out of the car because when we reached the benches, no one in need was there and we did not hand out any goods at that location.
Then Jane drove us to St. Helen’s, where we did not see B, but left him a package by his bedroll.
At the fence, T, M and D were in high spirits, and each took a package, as well as water bottles and t-shirts and underpants. T changed into his fresh underpants right away.
At 4th and Vine we loaded the cart and first saw two individuals with a collection of belongings at the McDonald’s. We did not speak to them then and proceeded to P’s corner, and P accepted a package and sandwich, and t-shirt, and Jane purchased a magazine. Then we spotted a man at the eating area beside the Whole Foods. T is his name and he gratefully accepted a package and food, and told us that he was homeless but waiting to hear from Housing BC about finding a place inside.
Across 4th Ave. in front of the Shopper’s was an older man named M sitting on the ground with no belongings and eating a McDonald’s sundae. He accepted a package, food, t-shirt and socks. Also in front of the Shopper’s was T, who took a package and food and socks.
Walking back towards the car, Jane noticed that the couple was still in front of the McDonald’s and made contact. Their names are M and L, but we only spoke with M who told us that he and L have a place Downtown. They took two packages and food.
Then Jane drove us down 4th towards Granville, and we visually inspected the underpass, park, and adjacent alleyways from the vehicle, but saw no one. We then proceeded to the Granville and Broadway area and Jane parked at Granville between 12th and 13th. We saw G in front of the Shoppers straight away and he accepted only a sandwich from Jane.
We then walked down Granville towards Broadway and decided to loop around the South East side of the block behind the VPL and look around at the Circle K, where we ran into B and R, who each took a package and food and socks. We then walked Southwards down Hemlock and looped back towards the park behind the VSB, where I approached a woman sitting on a bench with a backpack of belongings. Her name is E, and she took a package and food. We were then approached by J, who asked us about the whereabouts of S and R, whom we had not seen that day, but whom I had seen around earlier in the week. J was excited to receive one of each items we had with us: sweatpants, t-shirt, package, food. While we were talking with E and J, and explaining the information card, we spotted a couple taking shade under a golf umbrella and tarps on the grass of the park on the West side. We approached them carefully and asked if they needed food. They replied that they did need food, and clothes, and so we handed out what we had; packages for both, sweatpants and t-shirts for both, water and toiletries. Their names are J(sp?) and C. J was fussing over C, and said he was suffering from neck pain due to sleeping in an awkward position, but I caught a glimpse of C’s face and the left side was swollen and the left eye completely shut.
We then returned to the car, drove a little way to a side street and stopped to give water to Penny the dog and at the same time make a quick inventory of our dwindling supplies. We ascertained that at that point we had given out all the packages, but that we still had sandwiches, clothes, water and food for St, and hoped that it would be enough.
Jane drove us down Broadway, and we looked for anyone, especially at the Safeway at MacDonald, but saw no one until we spied St in front of the Shopper’s on Broadway. St seemed the worse for the heat and in down spirits, but he accepted what food and clothing we had without rancor.
With no packets to return to St. Philips, Jane dropped me off at Broadway and Fir as I had an errand to do, and that was our day!
Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outing Report for June 17th, 2023
By Suzi Noetzel
Janice and I set out from St Philip’s loaded with food packets, PBJ & Cheese sandwiches, hardboiled eggs, bananas, oranges, bottles of water, razors, toothbrushes, hats, t-shirts, clothing items, and gift cards from St Philip’s Parishioners. We made 16 connections and shared packages of food with 18 people (two people had a friend they were bringing a packet to).
We started at St Helen’s, but didn’t see B so we left a package on his sleeping bag. We debated leaving him a sleeping mat, but we weren’t entirely sure about it so in the end we didn’t, if someone runs into him, could you ask if he wants one.
We then headed to Highbury and W. 4th where we saw M, T, B & A. All took food packets- A took two for he and his wife. He was touched I remembered her. They all took sandwiches, fruit, eggs and water as well. M also took a travel toothbrush kit& two hand sanitizers, B was complaining about being cold, so we gave him two hand warmer packets and extra socks. We had a box filled with cookies and candy and all enthusiastically took some. They were all in good spirits, but not super chatty. M mentioned he uses the hand sanitizer to wash his face, if anyone has some hand wipes to send to him, that might be nicer on his skin.
We headed down W. 4th where we met M in front of McDonalds, she is a lovely lady and enjoyed chatting, she was sitting on her walker waiting for her coffee to cool. and we struck up a conversation. She lives in the Kits Neighbourhood House and is on a limited pension, she loved getting the food and was especially pleased with the hard boiled eggs! We gave her food packets, sandwiches, fruit, water and hardboiled eggs. We told her a team was around every Sat so keep an eye out for us, she has long blondish hair and a welcoming friendly face.
We saw P at his place outside Whole Foods, he was happy to see us and took a packet, sandwich & fruit, we think we gave him a razor too. We chatted for a few minutes.
We walked over to Shoppers where we met L who was in front, she’s housed downtown and subsidized through West Coast Mental Health, but has limited funds. She happily took a packet for herself and asked for one for her friend. She also took a sandwich, egg and fruit as well. She had met one of our teams before and was happy to see us.
Next we saw A- sitting up by the Granville bridge near the 100 sign, he’s in town from Lillooet. We asked if he was housed, he said he was sleeping here and there. He took packet, $10 gift card to McDonalds, sandwich, water, extra boost and one of the laminated services card. He had been wondering where to go, so was especially pleased by the card. He said he was in town on vacation, not sure how long he’ll stay.
We couldn’t find parking by VSB, so we drove back behind the Library on W 10th and found R in the parking lot for Pacific Arts Market, he was new to us. He was happy to meet us, we gave him a hat, long sleeve t-shirt, water, sandwich , eggs, banana, orange and packet. We asked if he was housed and he told us he had a place to sleep and he knows about kits showers and MPA.
We then drove the alleys and checked the parking structure behind Pottery Barn and didn’t find anyone. We turned down W11th (and Granville) and found S sitting on a bench. He took a packet, t-shirt and water. He pointed out the old retirement home that is being turned into a SRO for Seniors. We chatted for a while and he was in good spirits. We headed over to the VSB where we found Sc & R hanging out together, both took packets, sandwiches, eggs, and razors. R also took a toothbrush & hand sanitizer.
We then headed down Broadway and found D on the South side of Broadway & Yew close to the bus stop in front of an insurance agent. He said he hadn’t seen us for a while and was happy to see us. We had a long chat with him and gave him a packet, 3 boost drinks, sleeping mat, sandwich, eggs, rain jacket and fruit. He’s sleeping rough. I noticed his hands were really swollen and he said they’ve been like that for a while, I asked if he’s seen a doctor about it and he said no, I encouraged him to see one and told him about the Kits showers program, he was open to it and seemed like he may- I gave him one of the cards with the information on it.
Although we gave D our last packet, we stopped at Tim Hortons where we saw St and D. D is new to us and is staying at a shelter. He’s unhappy about the shelter and is tired about having his things stolen, and frustrated that the staff isn’t doing anything about it (in his eyes), he says they have cameras and instead of holding the thieves accountable, they just let it go. He’s concerned that it will result in violence at some point. We gave both of them our remaining PBJ & cheese sandwiches, water, a $10 McDonald’s gift card each and underwear. Although they were sitting across from each other, they didn’t seem to be talking to each other. St said he was depressed, he talked to Janice about his frustration with finding housing and told her he needs a BCID to open a bank account. He does have a birth certificate being held at the Kettle Society. Janice gave him the card with the different services and told him to go to Kits Showers.
We then took the rest of our items back to St. Philip’s. We had a busy day, we handed out all the packets we brought out with us (16), sandwiches (16), eggs (16) and made 15 connections. The clementines were popular today. We offered underwear and the majority of the guys preferred boxers! Overall it was a really nice outing. We had enough time to chat with the people we met while handing out some gratefully received food. We appreciated the time they spent talking with us and sharing their stories.
Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outreach Report for May 20th, 2023
Submitted by Steph Martens
Steph and Meg met up with Suzi at St. Philips and picked up clothing, mats, toiletries, food packages, sandwiches, fruit, and eggs from the indoor team. Many thanks to the indoor team for the well-stocked packages!
We first headed to the fence at Highbury, where we met T and M. They seemed in good spirits, although M asked for a cane as someone had taken his cane recently. Possible that a cane could be found at the St. Philips rummage sale for him?
We then headed to 4th and Vine. We saw P at his usual corner where we gave him a package and a sandwich. Meg bought a poetry book from him. He mentioned he is part of a special poetry reading at SFU Woodwards next week Friday (I think for Megaphone). He also mentioned he is going to visit family in Merritt next weekend so may not be around.
We met T in front of Shoppers (the T who lives close by). He was happy to see us and mentioned that "the church people taught me to eat properly again”. He has some work at Kits Community House, and we discussed the losses of people we used to see due to the opiate crisis and tainted drug supply. But it was a good chat with him. He took all the food offerings and a package.
We continued, found no one under the Granville Bridge, or in that general area, so went to park on Fir near VSB. There was no one in the park, and we wondered if R was OK, as he hasn't been seen in a few weeks. Then we saw a woman outside of Edward Chapmans, who usually lives in the DES but came up this way because "it can get a bit crazy down there". She took all the food offerings and a package,but said she didn't need clothes or anything. Was grateful for what we could give her. She didn't offer her name.
We continued and saw S on the other side of Edward Chapmans, who took a package and food. We had a chat about the economics of binning and dynamics of when others are binning, if or when it's worth it. He mentioned that an apartment building on 12th (Chalmers Seniors’ Residence) is going to be converted to SRO and wonders the viability of binning in that area if and when that does happen. He let us know welfare was the week prior (it was early this month) and might affect who is around.
Immediately across the street, near the parkade, we saw R and R. They both took packages and food offerings. R asked for a pair of sweatpants, but we didn't have any. We gave him a few t-shirts and underwear, and R got a t-shirt as well. While we were talking to R and R, we were approached by a fellow on a bike asking for socks. By that time, we didn't have extra packages, so went back to the car to restock and asked him to meet us there. We lost him but found him again sitting in McDonalds and gave him a package. We didn't get his name.
Continuing walking, we thought we saw A from behind, at a bit of a distance, in the alley behind McDonald's, but we called out his name and got no response. We didn't see anyone at Circle K.
Then we walked up to Holy Trinity and met T in the parkade who took a package, food, a t-shirt, underwear, and toiletries (razor, toothbrush, etc.) He was feeling quite down and a bit ill and seemed to have a bit of heat stroke from the day before. We talked to him for quite a while; he told us more about his life and the recent transition to living on the street. He had everything stolen (computer and belongings) from his car when he arrived in Vancouver from Alberta about 6 months ago. He would definitely like any and all help to find housing, felt as though he'd have no options because in Richmond he was told that he would not be prioritized because he wasn't opiate-dependant. We let him know that there were other options (the week before we had given him a card about Kits showers). We got the sense that he could really use checking up on, if possible, and told him we would definitely look for him next Saturday at the same location.
If we have resources and information to help T find his footing- he doesn't really know the lay of the land here in BC. For example, we clarified that he could go and use the library for computers and they would give him a card for free, which he wasn't aware of. He noted that Holy Trinity is getting a new pastor and was concerned that they will be kicked out of the parkade. He was quite distressed that other people come in and mess up their things, causing problems for him and R using that spot. Was very grateful for the church allowing them to stay so far. Meg will raise this with the Street Ministry admin and her clergy (Lorne) at St. Philips for further advocacy among the clergy.
At this point we were running a bit late, as we had had a lot of good conversations with folks. We drove back down Broadway to Safeway, did a drive through of the underground parking lot but didn't see anyone. We also didn't see S on Broadway, at any of the usual places.
We travelled back to St. Philips to deposit unused packages and other items. Meg brought a package to R at Shopper's after as she had errands there.
We had some good conversations on this outing, and gained more awareness of the struggles some of our people are facing. 11 connections were made.
VOLUNTEER for Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry!
We are currently looking for volunteers for both the Street Outreach Programme and the Mobile Care Unit. Street Outreach Volunteers go out on the streets one Saturday once a month from 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. approximately. No car is needed.
Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outreach Report for April 22nd, 2023
Submitted by Meg Kwasnicki
Meg and Dana met Suzi with the indoor team at St Philips where we picked up packages, PBJ and cheese sandwiches, eggs, and bananas along with packaged cookies and cheese/pepperoni snack packs (left over from the Kiwanis Festival at the church). NB- there are many more cheese/pepperoni snacks remaining (some in the fridge at St. P’s) for the future. They were very popular and in retrospect we could have given far more per person. We will remember for next time.
We also had $10 Shopper’s and Tim Horton’s gift cards. All were so pleased to get them. We also brought underwear, socks, T Shirts, and some shoes. Thanks to the indoor team for the food and packet prep!
We drove in separate cars to the first stop at 4th and Highbury: “The Fence” where we met with T, B and M who were in good spirits, despite the dreary weather and B's recent operation and stay in the hospital for several weeks. All took food and packages, underwear, socks, razors* and the gift cards (each got Shoppers and Tim Hortons and they were very thankful). B also took an umbrella Meg had to donate. M requested another rain jacket saying he needed to give the one he got previously to “a homeless girl” to help her out.
We then headed to Safeway at 4th and Vine. We didn’t see P as we were expecting. D was in front of Whole Foods, in a good mood. He took a package, sandwich PBJ, socks and a gift card; so thankful for it! While there, a woman from the neighbourhood engaged Meg in some questions about our volunteer work and we passed on to look us up on the various church sites. She wanted to pass on that as a neighbour she appreciates what we do.
VSB Park and Granville St. We then drove by the loop around Granville Bridge and saw no one under the bridge or in the park. We checked out 7th and Fir; saw no one there. We headed over to VSB park where there was no one. We met R at the Edward Chapman’s on Granville - he took a packet, food, underwear, and a gift card. D was catching up and he said he was having some problems with his stomach, and generally feeling low. NB - he asked for razors and sweat pants but we didn’t have these things at the time.
We then circled down 10th into the alley and saw S’s stuff outside McDonald’s. He came out to greet us and took the packet, some food, a gift card, and was otherwise quite content, telling us that the week before had been very strange. Was a witness to a harsh interaction between police and a woman they were retaining. He let us know that it had also been welfare week, so we might see fewer people than usual.
There was no one at Circle K (expecting to see A). Walking the alley behind Granville towards 12th, we unexpectedly found A in the car park stairwell door trying to catch up on sleep. He appeared very appreciative that we called out to him, and we had a nice conversation about his family in Croatia. He had very little with him (and did talk about how much his things get stolen); we left him with a food package, gift cards, and a sleeping bag. We thought he might use a sleeping mat if we see him next time.
We drove up to Safeway to park and walked on Broadway checking the front and side street, then on foot circled the parking lot underneath, and found no one. We continued down Broadway to Tim Hortons but didn't see S. We stopped at St. Helen’s to catch B on the way back, found his stuff (but not him) at the side of the church and left him a packet and food offerings. Finally, before going back to St. Philip’s, we checked the Dunbar Shopper’s and saw no one. We gave out 8 sandwiches and packets, 11 gift cards of St. Philip’s supply. Meg took back the remaining sandwiches, eggs, bananas and oranges to 17th and Dunbar apartments (they send their thanks!)
It was a bit of a wet, cloudy, and somewhat melancholy day- but meeting our friends and the good conversations brightened up our day.
Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outreach Report for Saturday, March 25th, 2023
Report by Rhona Thornton
Participants: Rhona Thornton and Janice Hope. Packages prepared by St. Philip’s
Janice and I picked up packages, fresh food, clothing and sleeping bags from St Philip’s. First we headed to 4th and Highbury where we met A. We were very sad to hear that there had been a fire at Steeve’s manor where he lives. Several units were completely destroyed and many people were evacuated due to smoke damage. He and his wife did not to leave their place but he said it was smoky. We gave him food for himself and his wife and a jacket for his wife.
At St Helen’s there was a funeral and we didn’t see B. We left a package with his belongings.
Next we headed to 4th and Vine where we didn’t see anyone. We didn’t see anyone under the Granville street overpasses or outside Windsor plywood. Next we parked at 10th and Fir. We walked all around the neighbourhood and only saw two people. A was outside the circle K. He was happy to receive all of the food on offer and a pair of underwear. R was on the West side of Granville between 12th and 13th. We gave him rain pants, warm wool socks, underwear and food. We didn’t see anyone at the church at 12th and Hemlock. At the front door of the church on Fir at 11th we saw a sleeping bag with other belongings so we left a package.
We saw S outside the Dollarama. He was very happy with the stroller that Jane had given him a couple of weeks ago. We gave him lots of food and a baseball cap. We dropped off the left over perishable food at Dunbar and 17th. We didn’t see anyone outside Shoppers so we returned the supplies to St Philip’s.
Although it was a quiet and rainy day, it was good to see the few people that we did see. We saw four people and handed out seven packages.
Neighbourhood Ministry Outreach Report for Saturday Feb 25, 2023
Report Submitted by Meg Kwasnicki
Steph and Meg met at St Philips at 9:30 and the indoor team provided 15 packets of non-perishable foods, 3 bunches of Bananas, tangerine oranges, 18 hard-boiled eggs, Cheese and Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches. We also took 2 sleeping bags, shoes, various jackets and clothing items.
It was a cold day, the first in what we knew was going to be a wintery stretch of days.
Around 10 we left. We went to Highbury and 4th at “the fence”, where we met T and A. T took a packet and food and underwear, tried shoes (not the right size). A brought us two jackets back that were too small for his wife, took 2 packets and fruit (not taking a sandwich due to current diet restrictions), with some underwear, fleece vest and toiletries.
After that we drove up 4th to the Safeway at Yew Street, where we saw P, his usual friendly self (took a packet, hat and food). In front of Whole Foods, we met D who took a food packet, gloves, and socks. Back to the car, we passed in front of Shoppers, but there was no one there.
We then headed down 4th to the Granville Bridge/Hemlock circle. No one appeared to be under the overpass or in the park area. We then headed to 7th and Fir (no one under the overpass or behind hardware store in the alley) and moved on to Fir and 10th.
School Board Park was empty at that time. Over on 10th east of Granville at the closed Edward Chapman’s we met a young woman bundled up and lying down (didn't give us a name, but A thought it could be J). She was reluctant to take anything at first (said she couldn't carry anything), after a bit of a chat she took a packet and a toque. At that time two separate women also approached with clothing items to give; one woman was quite insistent to give a bag of designer clothes and we had to gently (but insistently) push back as "J" really didn't want the items. We learned that "J" had been living on the streets for about 3 years and has all but given up on applying to the system for anything - felt too beaten down to try further. We did pass along information about Kits showers and other services, but she seemed to know.
In the alley behind the Firehall there was no one. We circled down to Broadway and met J and K under different coverings of a courtyard building connector (by Jordan's furniture). J used to be under the overpass by Granville Is. and these days is staying at Oddfellows (seemed positive about this). He took a packet and food, some underwear and a pair of shoes that luckily fit (as his were very worn). K took a packet and food. Both had sleeping bags. At the Circle K we met A who took a packet and food and some underwear; he seemed fine. Moving West down 10th avenue we met a fellow outside the firehall that was thankful for a packet but didn't want any more to take away from others (and he wanted to be discreet about taking anything); we didn't catch a name. We checked out the alleys and street around 12th and Granville - but saw no one.Back at VSB we met R who took a packet + underwear.
Heading back west to Safeway at Broadway and MacDonald, we met D on the South-West corner of Stephens and Broadway (by Salvation Army Thrift). He took a food packet, but he was struggling quite a bit (we observed he may have an infected hand, but he did not offer this information). We left him with information about the Kits showers and the doctor. He seemed interested in getting help to apply for housing, though it wasn't quite clear. Next was Tim Horton’s at Balaclava where we met St who didn't need much food (others had given him) and was quite distressed because his cart wheel was broken and just couldn't manage any more stuff. It seemed getting the cart fixed was his primary concern and he might have taken a sleeping bag if it worked. Steph sent a separate email canvassing the group for a replacement cart on Monday. We headed up to St. Helen's to check in on B; he didn't need anything from us.
We were back at St. Philip’s around 1:30 p.m. to replace the items.
Steph took a packet to drop off with R at Shopper's. We had about 6 sandwiches remaining and 4 packets. Meg dropped off remaining eggs, sandwiches, oranges and bananas (lots left of the fruit and eggs) at 17th and Dunbar apartments.
Given the cold day and the impending poor weather, understandably folks seemed somewhat more stressed and withdrawn than usual.
A Heartfelt Thank You from the Neighbourhood Ministry and Our Friends on the Streets
It has been a hard, cold, wet winter for the folks who live on the streets. Thanks to your donations of camping supplies and clothing, we have been able to make them a bit more comfortable. The McDonald's gift cards are very much appreciated as they give people somewhere warm and dry to go to get out of the cold. The non-perishable food which you give is essential. When St Philip’s volunteers go out, all of the groceries that we give has been donated by our parishioners. Thank you!
Thank you for the sleeping bags!
Our friends on the streets struggle to stay warm. The best sleeping bags are synthetic as they dry out quickly. You heard our plea for donations of $50 or more to the Neighbourhood Ministry to purchase a sleeping bag that we can give to the people who need one so badly. Still want to help? Contact Rhona Thornton, St Philip's Parish liaison at [email protected]
Thanks to all our donors who make this ministry possible!
Mission Statement of the Westside Anglican Neighbourhood Ministry
Reviewed by the Board of Management: Nov 23, 2021
The Neighbourhood Ministry was started in 2007 when a small group of concerned church members decided that they would like to support the people who are unhoused on the West Side. The response that they got from many was “there aren’t any homeless people on the Westside”. But then these same people started to look around them: there’s someone outside Shoppers on Dunbar, and at the corner of 4th and Vine, etc. They realised that the issue wasn’t that there weren’t any unhoused people in our neighbourhood, it was just that they didn’t SEE them. I believe that that is the same, to a greater or lesser degree, for all of us. As we go about our busy lives, the homeless people become almost invisible and I’m sure that sometimes they feel that way too.
The Mobile Care Unit (MCU) continues to provide bi-monthly medical and social services at St. Augustine’s, Marpole, 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Thursdays. Dr. Stephanie operates the medical services side of the MCU, which offers basic medical services (wound care, diagnosis, preventative care, assistance with disability applications, and referrals for long term or specialty care). More than 15 people were served by the MCU in June, with services ranging from disability, diabetic and dietician information assistance to housing, CPP, tax claims, birth certificate and ID applications.
How is the Neighbourhood Ministry Funded?
The Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry (WANM) is a collaborative effort of four Westside Anglican parishes (St. Anselm’s, St. Helen’s, St. John’s Shaughnessy and St. Philip’s), all under the Diocese of New Westminster.
Each church contributes $2,500 annually to the WANM. St. Philip's contribution comes out of the Outreach Budget. The rest of the funding for WANM comes from grants. In 2018 and 2019 this Ministry received a Care and Share grant. In 2020 it received a grant from the City of Vancouver and recently it was awarded $10,000 from the Union Gospel Mission's Christian Leader's Fund. The WANM expenses include, but are not limited to, staffing (Rev'd Liz Hamel worked as Program and Volunteers Manager from Fall 2020 to June 2021), office supplies, sleeping bags and other camping gear, Christmas Outreach, individual support (eg moving-in expenses for a client) and funding for meal programs at the Dunbar Apartments. The food supplies that go out every week are collected by each church individually and mainly donated by their parishioners. St Philip’s has also maintained its own separate Neighbourhood Ministry account funded by Outreach in order to purchase items we may need, but in 2023 the funding for these purchases will come from the WANM.
The accounting for the WANM is on St Philip’s books. When looking at the St Philip's financial reports, you will see the WANM and the NM reflected in two areas: these are two different pots of money.