BC commits more funding to support seniors facing mental health, addiction and housing challenges

On Friday, the province announced funding for the Seniors Services Society of BC (SSSBC) to support seniors living with mental health and addiction issues who are at risk of becoming homeless.

The SSSBC will receive an additional grant of $809,000 for its Senior Housing Information and Navigation Ease (SHINE) program, which will be delivered in 10 communities, including Kelowna and Penticton.

The program helps seniors access mental health, addiction and financial support.

In addition, the program provides housing navigations, referrals to supports for maintain safe housing, advocacy for seniors being unfairly pushed out of rental homes as well as navigation education and workshops for other agencies aimed at helping seniors.

<who> Photo Credit: 123rf

“For many seniors, navigating housing, financial aid, mental-health and addictions and other services without assistance can be extremely difficult,” said Jennifer Whiteside, minister of mental health and addictions.

“Without help, seniors may be at risk of falling into poverty, homelessness, experience discrimination and inequality. That’s why we’re proud to support programs such as SHINE, to help more seniors with mental-health and addictions challenges in communities across B.C. get the help they need and deserve.”

Alison Silgardo, CEO of SSSBC says the SHINE program was envisioned as a city-specific, senior-centred network to address gaps in the systems supporting older adults.

The program not only helps with mental health, addiction and financial resources, but also helps with technology and food insecurity, adds Silgardo.

Besides Kelowna, the program will also be delivered in Nanaimo, Langley’s Aldergrove, Surrey, Vancouver’s West End, Prince George and New Westminster.

Penticton joins Victoria and Richmodn as new partners to the program this year.

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