How We Can Help
Supported housing is the traditional focus of this branch. We currently provide five housing programs which are accessed by referrals from the Fraser Health Authority and BC Housing.
Supported housing programs assist people in developing skills and obtaining the resources they want and need in their particular situation.
These initiatives represent real hope to people who want to live, learn, and work in the same ways as non-disabled members of the community.
Transition houses are located in the community to help people acquire the skills needed for everyday living. Often clients come from 24 hour care and want to regain a sense of normalcy and societal inclusion. Usually the stay is about two years and then the person moves into their own apartment but with supportive visits when needed.
Clients can transition to Supported Independent Living (SIL) as they gain the skills, confidence and wellness they need. Three clients have transitioned to independent living in 2010, and currently one client is slated to transition to SIL in 2011.
Two transition houses in New Westminster: Barnabas House and Bluebird House
Two transition houses in Maple Ridge: Riverside House and Sheppard House
One apartment in New Westminster: San Mateo
Supported Independent Living (SIL)
The Supported Independent living (SIL) program provides clients living in New Westminster a housing subsidy for their rent. The SIL program is a client-centered program, in which clients find alternate housings while working with the case managers and SIL workers on their recovery goals. Life skills training, re-learning skills and developing coping skills are only a small part of their recovery. Clients can choose where to live in New Westminster and what type of accommodation to live in. They participate in a rehabilitation program and develop independent living skills as they work on their recovery from mental illness.
A. Smith, a current SIL client says: "I am currently in the Supported Independent Living housing program at CMHA and it's the best my life has ever been."
Community Living Support (CLS)
The Community Living Support program (CLS) is a client-centered program for people who are living in New Westminster with a mental illness. Clients are referred through the New Westminster mental health center and receive a CLS worker. The case manager, CLS worker and client work together on recovery goals set up in a individual service plan agreement (ISPA) or contract. In the community living support program, clients can be living on their own in the community, with family or in a transitional home. This program is similar to the SIL program in developing and completing recovery goals but there is no housing subsidy. The program uses a rehabilitation model to develop life skills, coping skills and assist in completing the recovery goals. The CLS program is a community support program and can be a stepping stone towards independence in the community.
Edmund says: "I lost my apartment due to losing welfare and student loans and ended up in a downtown eastside shelter where I applied for welfare assistance. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression. CMHA-SF employee Kevin received a referral in 2006 for a client needing a subsidized apartment. This was me and he found me a nice apartment."
Youth Supported Independent Living (YSIL)
Youth Supported Independent Living (YSIL) provides housing and support to youth who are sixteen to twenty-one years old, have a diagnosed mental illness and who are unable to live at home.
A former YSIL client, Anna says: "I was learning budgeting, cooking, and identifying and solving problems that arise when someone lives on their own for the first time - everything from safety to dealing with loneliness."
Rent Supplement Program (RSP)
The Rent Supplement Program is an indispensable part of the service offerings at the CMHA-SF. RSP provides housing subsidies in the Fraser North region (including New Westminster, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows) to referred clients and is funded through BC Housing.
Home Adaptations for Independence Program (HAFI)
The Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) program helps low-income seniors and people with disabilities finance home modifications for accessible, safe and independent living. For more information, visit BC Housing’s website <http://www.bchousing.org/