Homelessness Partnering Strategy –           GVRD Projects


The Society offers four 10-week Life skills Groups and continues working with new clientele as well as offers Youth Outreach two times a week.

The Project develops life skills and supports youth, families and individuals to have a better quality of life as well as establish and maintain housing.

It is the objective of the AFDS to help Aboriginal people in the Down Town East Side who are currently homeless to gain the requisite skills needed to find and keep housing, and to prevent those who are currently in housing from becoming homeless.


Andersons Healing Lodge for Aboriginal Women

Anderson Healing Lodge for Aboriginal Women is a 24/7, 10 bed barrier-fee transitional/emergency shelter for Aboriginal women in the Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The Lodge is a next step in the continuum of care and provides culturally appropriate Healing, Life skills & Recovery programs using a Medicine Wheel model addressing the four directions and the four aspects of a human being, the Spiritual, the Physical, the Emotional and the Mental. Residents participate in all regular daily programs i.e., employment/resume writing, counseling on/off site; hygiene, grooming and exercise, cultural teachings, Pipe Ceremonies, smudging, cleansing, Sweat Lodge, drum/rattle making, singing and drumming, beading eagle feathers, drum bag sewing, Aroma Therapy and Reiki. Residents also learn Food Safe & prepare the meals for Bannock on the Run & Elders Meals on Wheels. Residents also are provided advocacy and transportation to appointments and to reconnect to their heritage.


Bannock on the Run / Elders Meals on Wheels

Bannock on the Run in conjunction with the residents at Anderson Lodge prepares and delivers three hot/cold meals per month to homeless persons in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside while providing basic life skills when serving. Provides hygiene/survival kits seasonally and connection to other services.

Meals on Wheels in conjunction with the residents at Anderson Lodge prepares and delivers three hot/cold meals to Aboriginal Elders and shut-ins at various sites in Vancouver while providing connection to other services and provides hygiene/survival kits and to provide transportation for Elders to appointments.


The Community Voice Mail program provides clients with a simple yet vital tool for achieving life’s basic goals, without the hindrance of Poverty Stigma (putting the phone number of your shelter on your resume only leads to red flags and lost opportunities when that potential employer calls with what would have been good news). To date over 100 people have used CVM to move from homelessness into housing and over 60 have used CVM to move from unemployment in employment.


Cwenengitel is a ten (10)-bedroom facility that provides safe, central housing for Aboriginal Men who are trying to break the cycle of substance and alcohol abuse. The only support/ Transition facility that provides in-house addictions counseling combined with traditional teachings to Aboriginal people residing in Surrey.

This includes addictions counseling, traditional teachings, life skills, medicine circles, Sweat Lodge Ceremonies, anger management workshops, etc. These services continue to be available after they move out of the facility.

The project utilizes the services of three (3) Elders to facilitate traditional teachings and offer spiritual guidance to the residents.

HEALING OUR SPIRIT                               

Food for Mind, Body & Spirit: A Participant-Driven Kitchen

Participants prepare nutritious meals to ensure those diagnosed with HIV/AID eat, and eat properly, to enhance their health and longevity. During the daily lunch, (Monday to Friday), informative messaging is provided to clients regarding healthy living and the importance of proper nutrition. Also now provides an evening meal twice a week.


SPIRIT WAY provides housing, healing and educational programs to Aboriginal women and their children who are victims of violence. Residents participate in all 12 programs such as Life skills, Employment skills, Education, Spiritual Balance to name a few. Currently, there are 14 supportive and safe housing units with 33 beds with a stay of up to 18 months.


Through education, advocacy, information/education/healing workshops and more the IRSSS Project creates a greater awareness among  Aboriginal youth, survivors and intergenerational survivors as to the legacy of Indian Residential Schools, their ties to homelessness, and teach individuals self-reliance through holistic, spiritual, and cultural growth.

The program initiated an on-going street-based outreach program that provides nutritious snacks to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This helps create awareness of IRSSS services and gain first-hand knowledge of the issues surrounding homelessness and how our organization and its service partners can deal with them most effectively.

IRSSS works with its network of service partners to develop and offer a wide variety of workshops and counseling services that relate to residential school issues, holistic approaches to healing, and family strengthening etc.


The name Dreamchasers is intended to support the values of persistence, vision, exploration and sharing to provide a cultural alternative learning experience. Participants at risk of homelessness will be able to construct a more sustainable future for themselves and their families by increasing their basic educational skills, life-skills and cultural connections while breaking the cycle of poverty. The location of the services within the community and supported by the services of the Aboriginal Mother Centre will create another comprehensive service delivery location in East Vancouver.

The programs goals are that Homelessness will be decreased in East Vancouver; Improved partnership between Aboriginal agencies will exist in east Vancouver; Improved partnership between federal and provincial supports will be demonstrated.


Children’s Christmas Event; Children’s Backpack Program; Elders Kitchen Project

This yearly Children’s Christmas Event provides gifts, lunch and entertainment for more than two hundred (200) children (new born to 12 years of age) along with a similar count for parents, grandparents and guardians.

The Children’s Backpack Program event is held August and over two hundred families are served while 600 people participate in the program. Give-aways included: Back Packs, pens, pencils case, math sets and a calculator to the children at age 5 –17; and a nutritious hot lunch is provided.

The Elders Kitchen Project was a one time Capital Project that helped with the renovation of the Elders cultural area, and provided for a more productive use of space for the elders. The cooking equipment for Elder program sustainability, was also provided.


Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Homelessness Project identifies the under-lying causes of homelessness as applicable to wrongful behavior and assists participants in building their capacity for self-sufficiency and holistic wellness while the project is based on its ability to address the unique circumstances and needs of Aboriginal offenders and victims. The project also provides assistance and (advocacy) support for clients requiring employment/training opportunities, housing, health services and support services.


Young Wolves Lodge for Young Aboriginal Women

The Young Wolves Lodge for Aboriginal Young Women aged 17-24 fills the gap in the continuum of care and allows the women to utilize the program as a means of support to help stabilize their lives and to prevent or end homelessness. The YWL provides daily programming such as life skills, parenting skills to enable increased chance of healthier and safer living. Also to assist youth in working towards reuniting with their children whom the Ministry of Children and Families have apprehended.


Getting Off the Street & On My Feet: A First Step

Getting Off The Street & On My Feet: A First Step provides temporary shelter (up to two weeks) to homeless Aboriginal males with mental health clients at an alcohol and drug recovery house. Referrals of clients come from participating agencies including the First Nations Mental Health Program. Also to have participating agency staff access appropriate education and training to facilitate the activities of this project. Cultural activates for participants are encouraged as well to attend the Sweat Lodge and the use of hygiene/survival kits for clients.

Homelessness Partnering Strategy – Provincial Projects


10208 – 95 Avenue, Fort St. John, BC V1J 1J2
Tel: (250) 785 – 8566
Fax: (250) 785 -1507

Special Friends Breakfast Project

Fort St John Society will meet the HPS objectives target areas through the Special Friends Breakfast Project by hiring a Breakfast Coordinator to implement a full program which would provide one meal a day, during the breakfast hours for five days a week, (Monday through Friday). The Breakfast Coordinator will also provide assistance, guidance, mentorship and support to homeless individuals living in Fort St John. Hygiene packages and cold weather wear will also be provided on a needed basis to homeless individuals.

4917 Argyle Street, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 1V6
Tel: 723-2323 / Fax: 723-2382

Aboriginal Homelessness Response Initiative

KUU US Crisis Line Society will meet the HPS objectives target areas through the Aboriginal Homelessness Response Initiative Project (AHRI) which will provide AHRI advocate, 24 Hour Emergency Needs Access Line, 24 Hour Crisis/Street Outreach,
a Homelessness Coordinator.
Also provided in partnership with the Port Alberni Hostel Society an Emergency shelter bed.

Lillooet Friendship Centre Society

357 Main Street, Box 2170, Lillooet BC, V0K 1V0

Community Cares Project

Lillooet Friendship Centre Society will meet the HPS objectives and target areas through the Community Cares Project by increasing the hours for the existing Community Services Coordinator to implement a full program that would provide weekly soup & bannock lunches, monthly Elders lunches and clothing distribution to meet the immediate food and clothing needs of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.


1625 B McPhee Avenue, Courtenay BC V9N 5N4
Telephone: 250-338-7793 / Fax: 250-338-728

1.Aboriginal Homelessness Prevention/Intervention Project
The AHPI project will meet the HPS Objectives through hiring an Aboriginal Counselor to provide support to people in need to deter homelessness, which would offer support and provide support to women who are in and/or leaving violent or abusive relationships.
2. Prevention of Homelessness – Elder Support & Public Education Project
The Elders Program will meet the objectives by hiring a full time Aboriginal Elder Support Worker to undertake the activities designed for the Prevention of Homelessness – Elders Support Project, such as, support, advocacy and transportation to; appointments, hospitals or medical centers, cultural events, Elders dinner and luncheons.