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Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outing Report for August 28th
By Mary Lymburner
Suzi and her daughter, Sophia, and I set out from St. Philip’s on a sunny, cool Saturday. Suzi, in her role as St. Philip’s indoor team coordinator, supplied lots of packets, sandwiches, eggs, fruit, clothing and a sleeping bag. Suzi also supplied some masks for our toiletries bag.
At the fence at 4th and Highbury we met some of the usual group, T, J, and S, and also D whom we had not met before. T is housed. J is a deaf man, also housed. S has been camping out temporarily but will return to his indoor place once J has moved out. D was juggling. He is a young healthy-looking man. He is from France, was on Vancouver Island for a while and is moving on to Saltspring. All took food. T and S took some underwear and S took a sleeping bag, backpack, jacket and hat. S would like a tent if anyone has one.
Joan met us at the fence to say good-bye to Sophia who is off to University.
At 4th and Vine we saw only P selling the Megaphone. He took some food. We drove around the Granville Loop Park area and looked into the park and under the bridge ramps but saw no one. We saw a group under the bridge ramp at 7th and Fir. These were two young people, N and D whom we have met before. They are recently homeless, said they still had the laminated card from before. N took a nice jacket, and some shoes. Both took toiletries. With them was H, an older man. He took shoes, a jacket, pants and a shirt. He has been outdoors a long time, and is not sure he wants to move indoors. All took some food. We ended up discussing the Covid vaccine with this group. H was interested to hear that I had been vaccinated without any problems. He said he would discuss it further at the clinic he attends. The others also were unvaccinated and unsure about it.
We then turned around and went south on Fir to our usual parking place on Fir at 10th by the VSB park. J was not there. There was a man sleeping under a blanket. We spoke and he woke easily. His name is E. He is an older man, does have a home. He took food and tried on some of our clothing and shoes, but everything was too small. We continued on foot to Broadway and Granville. There was a lot of construction going on for the new Skytrain station, and a lot of fencing blocking access to the lane. We saw A who was happy to take some food. He is housed. We went along Broadway to Hemlock and through another lane to reach the lane beside McDonald’s where we often meet B and others. But no one was there today. We saw no one else in the area. On our way back to our car we again looked for J at the VSB Park, but he was not there.
We then started west along Broadway. At the Wawanesa Building at Broadway and Maple we found J and J. They took some food and underwear. As we drove past the liquor store across from Wawanesa we noticed a person sitting on a bench, so we stopped and went over. This was an older woman named P. She was happy to take food. She lives indoors with about 10 other women, so some sort of group setting. There was no one in front of London Drugs at Broadway and Yew. There was no one at the Safeway at Broadway and Macdonald where we have seen P quite regularly in recent weeks. We did not see S at the Tim Horton’s at Broadway and Balaclava.
We stopped at St. Helen’s to look for B. His usual sleeping bag was not there. There was a pillow by St. Helen’s porch. A parishioner came along and said that was B’s pillow, so we left a packet and sandwich for him. On our way back to St. Philip’s we looked at the Shoppers on Dunbar but did not see anyone there.
Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outing Report for July 31st
By Rhona Thornton
Suzi picked up the fruit and eggs from Joanne and the sandwiches from Katie. Then she picked me up and we headed to St Philip’s where we collect packages prepared by Sophia, plus an assortment of clothing. Thanks to the parishioners of St Philip’s for their generous donations!
First we went to St Helen’s, but we didn’t see any sign of B. Our next stop was 4th and Highbury where we met S and D. D had just spent 2 weeks in Victoria where he was able to connect with friends. S has been having a rough time with his partner and seems to spend a lot of time sleeping rough. He is looking for a tent. They both took food and D took a jacket. S also took food for T who had just headed off to the bottle depot.
At 4th and Vine we saw P who was happy to take a package, a sandwich and a banana. Outside Whole Foods we saw an older woman who didn’t engage with us. P told us that she doesn’t engage with anyone and sometimes gets quite agitated.
We drove under the Granville Street bridge and around the bus loop park but didn’t see anyone. Next, we parked at the Circle K at Hemlock and Broadway. At the Northwest corner of that intersection we saw D who is known to us. He took food, toiletries and an information card. On the South side of Broadway between Hemlock and Granville, we saw D and R in a shelter that they had set up. R was sleeping, but D was very chatty and grateful for the food and t-shirts. He also took an information card.
We saw B outside of McDonald’s. He had a black eye and said that he also had some issues with his vision. He did go to the hospital when he was hurt but after he was seen by someone, he was left waiting for a long time so he left. He told us that he doesn’t have a doctor but needs blood tests. Suzi told him about the MCU and said that it might be a good way for him to get connected with a doctor. He took food, a t-shirt, underwear and a McDonald’s gift card.
We then headed over to the school board park where we saw J. He was very excited because Jane had just come by and told him that she had booked his 2nd shot. Thanks, Jane, for doing that. He took food and a t-shirt.Our next spot was Wawanesa where we saw J and J. J seemed to be pretty down and J was concerned about him. J is hoping that J’s social worker will be connecting with him soon. Both men took food and McDonald’s gift cards, and J took a t-shirt and underwear. He is looking for an extra-large hoodie. J is looking for a size 12 1/2 pair of shoes.
We saw D at the Northeast corner of McDonald and Broadway. He was very sleepy and didn’t engage much but was happy to take the food that we offered and an extra Boost which he started drinking right away.
We didn’t see S outside Tim’s or anyone outside Shopper’s on Dunbar. At that point we still had quite a few perishables left so we took a quick trip to Kerrisdale. At 41st and Yew we saw F whom Suzi knows, as he is a regular there. He is housed. We gave him two sandwiches and four eggs. We didn’t see anybody else in Kerrisdale, so Suzi dropped me off and returned the clothing supplies to St Philip’s.
Thanks to all our donors who make this ministry possible.
On their Saturday outings during the month of June, Street Outreach teams made more than 60 connections with people in need. Services provided by the teams included helping with Covid vaccination registrations, and providing food, toiletries, clothing, sunscreen and water (the latter particularly needed on some of the extremely hot days). We continued to be grateful for the trust that we build as we attempt to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
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 Chu 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. A special request was made for bedding, clothes, underwear, etc., for one of Dr. Stephanie’s patients, which we were able to provide.
On June 15, Liz Hamel stepped away from the position of Program & Volunteers’ Manager, but continues to be on the Board of Management in her role as interim priest at St. Helen’s, Point Grey. In the meantime, the WANM Board of Management continues to be in discernment regarding future staffing needs.
We are recruiting volunteers, so if you would like to be part of any of the teams or assist with our social media presence, please contact Joan at [email protected]. For more information on the WANM, please visit: neighbourhoodministry.comand the Facebook page: facebook.com/neighbourhoodministry
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 (last fall a Program and Volunteers Manager, Rev’d Liz Hamel, was hired), 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 also maintains its own separate Neighbourhood Ministry account to fund the purchase of items it may need (protein bars, Ensure, socks, etc.)
It is a little confusing for parishioners at St Philip’s as 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 and these are two different pots of money.