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Vancouver – Senior Services Society
Vancouver (2021-2022) Senior Services Society site brief
The overall goal of the aging in the right place (AIRP) project is to improve the shelter and housing options to meet the unique and complex health and social needs of older persons experiencing homelessness across Canada.
SSS TEMPORARY HOUSING PROGRAM:
Senior Services Society (SSS) is a non-profit agency located in New Westminster, BC that supports vulnerable older adults to live as independently as possible. The SSS Temporary Housing Program (THP) provides a furnished private apartment as a temporary accommodation to homeless seniors for three to six months while they search for appropriate permanent housing. The older adult is paired with a THP coordinator who provides one-on-one guidance with outreach services, as well as assistance with finding stable housing. The THP fills a gap in housing for adults aged 60 years and over by providing a furnished apartment and tailored outreach services for those experiencing or at- risk of experiencing homelessness.
Facilitators of AIRP included the presence of outdoor spaces, access to public transit, and personalized resident units. Barriers to AIRP included presence of cracked and uneven sidewalks, overflowing garbage bins, and limited opportunities for social engagement.
SSS staff highlighted personalized care and connections with clients as strengths of the THP. However, lack of funding and structural barriers (e.g., housing market) were identified as challenges. The changing housing and demographic landscape posed additional challenges.
PHOTOVOICE CLIENT INTERVIEWS:
Clients described how having access to and mobility in their community, including features of the natural environment (e.g., greenery, trails, and parks), were valuable. Supportive features of the THP identified by clients included WiFi, homelike decor, and accommodating staff.