Women and Children's Services
Powell Place Shelter
Powell Place has the capacity to serve 26 single women at any given time. In the past year we provided shelter for 1077 single women and had to turn away more than we serve due to lack of space. The vast majority of women accessing Powell Place are dealing with a number of major challenges in their lives. The issues women are most often dealing with include addiction, mental health, physical illness and the dangers that come from working in the survival sex trade. Lack of supports in all of the above areas often leads to a revolving door of substandard hotels and emergency shelters.
We work with women to link them with the services that are available and support them in their quest to survive the harsh realities of their lives. St. James has always served those considered most marginalized in society and honored and respected their lives. This sentiment is very important to the work we do at Powell Place.
For more information about Powell Place please contact Trudi Shymka.
The Umbrella - Powell Place Expansion
On November 30th, 2009, St. James Community Service Society opened 26 permanent new emergency housing beds for homeless women in Vancouver. The new service, at 625 Powell Street in the Downtown Eastside, provides possession friendly emergency accommodation on a 24/7 basis, as well as, on-site supports to assist residents finding permanent housing.
The new location is a temporary site with the new beds doubling the number of women-only emergency housing spaces in the Downtown Eastside provided by St. James Community Service Society. We are currently planning to expand our 26-bed service at Powell Place within the next 2 years to create a single 52-bed facility.
The building contains 26 beds, 1or 2 per room. There are shower and washrooms, common areas, laundry facilities, and a food servery. Meals will be provided from one of St. James' commercial kitchens at another location. The service will be staffed 24/7 with shelter support workers and housekeepers. Women will also have access to an "in-reach" team that helps find placement in permanent accommodation.
For more information about the Umbrella please contact Trudi Shymka.
St. Elizabeth Home Emergency Shelter
St. Elizabeth Home has the capacity to shelter 32 women and children. In the first full year of operation 958 women and children stayed while 1244 were turned away. These statistics reflect the need for the services we provide as well as demonstrating a lack of affordable housing.
At St. Elizabeth's we are addressing the need for short-term emergency shelter while working to support women find safe affordable housing in a difficult housing market. We realize what women and children need most is access to decent affordable housing.
Women and their children access our services during times of crisis. We work with them to provide support to find better housing and connect to with appropriate services. We advocate when necessary whilst providing a safe and secure setting.
Transitional Housing Program
The transitional housing component of St. Elizabeth's Home consists of 10 suites. These units are a mix of one, two and three bedroom suites. One of the suites is designed and equipped for someone with a mobility disability. The stay in the transitional housing program is up to two years, allowing a decent period of time to work on life issues and search for better housing. Some of our residents have moved on to permanent housing while others continue to work on their goals in the program. Staff is available to support women in achieving their goals. In the past year the program has really taken shape with many communal activities for the women and children to participate in and enjoy. Other ongoing activities include crafts, games, movie nights, baking and pot luck dinners.
Child And Youth Support
St. Elizabeth's has an incredible play space for children. Both the inside and outside areas provide great possibilities for some much needed fun! Direct emotional support to children, and assistance for mothers accessing services for their children are important aspects of this program. Discovering and making connections with community resources including parks, schools, clinics etc. have enhanced the program as well. This is a note we received from a women who stayed with us.
There are few words
To describe this feeling
Many faces have come through this door
My child's was one of them
No one could have given us what we
Left with-our dignity
No one could have replaced its loss
Yet here-many protected this treasure
In a child's heart
And his spirit hope to dream again
A child without courage is like a
A night without stars
Thanks to all the stars we saw here
For more information about St. Elizabeth Home please contact Trudi Shymka.