Westside Neighbourhood Minsitry
The West Point Grey Neighbourhood Ministry has been operating successfully since 2008. It was founded by the parishes of St. Anselm’s, St. Helen’s and St. Philip’s to provide outreach to needy neighbours living on the streets of the Westside. The West Point Grey Neighbourhood ministry has been offered primarily through street outreach teams and through ministry at the Dunbar Apartments – a government supported housing complex.
The street outreach teams, comprised of about twenty volunteers, go out onto the streets each Saturday morning to provide care packets, fresh food, information on social services, and most importantly, fellowship, to those they meet. About 600 connections are made each year through the Neighborhood Ministry.
The Mobile Care Unit Initiative
At the June 2016 Annual Meeting of the Neighbourhood Ministry, participants supported development of the Mobile Care Unit (MCU) to provide mobile health care and social work support to Westside neighbours in need. Accessing medical care is often difficult for those living in marginal conditions; it is also hard to advocate for themselves, complete forms, or sustain regular contact with medical and social work staff. The Mobile Care Unit aims to break through these barriers. Neighbourhood Ministry volunteers will help encourage use of the Mobile Care Unit by those they know in the neighbourhood. The UBC Schools of Medicine and Social Work have agreed to participate in the MCU program through faculty and students enrolled in supervised for-credit field study courses. Several community and church based programs that offer weekly community meals have agreed to serve as designated service sites for the MCU. Efforts are underway to secure a vehicle that will enable the MCU to be of service at other locations. The MCU began its work in January 2017.