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Posts Tagged "homes"

23Aug

Rate increase coming to supportive recovery homes

by admin

For the first time in 10 years, the daily rates for eligible income assistance clients living at registered or licensed residences are increasing.

Additionally, changes to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act will ensure that people living in supportive recovery homes throughout B.C. will be better protected and receive more personalized services and supports.

The new regulatory requirements for registered supportive recovery homes will include:

  • ensuring employees have necessary training, skills and qualifications;
  • providing program and policy information upfront to individuals and families so they can make informed choices about whether the service is right for them;
  • developing a personal service plan for each resident to help them reach their recovery goals; and
  • supporting individuals to safely transition and connect to ongoing services and supports in the community when leaving recovery homes.

“For far too long, people and their families have struggled to find safe, appropriate care during the most vulnerable times in their lives,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “These changes will help ensure the individual needs of people on a recovery journey are heard, understood and respected when seeking help from a supportive recovery home in B.C.”

Changes to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act for supportive recovery homes will come into effect in December 2019. 

Daily rate changes for eligible income assistance clients will take effect Oct. 1, 2019. Rates for registered mental health and substance use homes will increase from $30.90 to $35.90 per day, rates for licensed mental health homes will increase from $30.90 to $45 per day, and rates for licensed substance use homes will increase from $40 to $45 per day. The daily rate is paid on behalf of eligible people receiving income assistance directly to their mental health or substance use facility.

“A lot of the people supported by these facilities face additional and significant barriers as a result of poverty,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Rate increases are a step toward addressing the cost pressures that facility operators must manage, and these increases will ensure that our most vulnerable populations have access to the support they need, when they need it.”

To assist supportive recovery home operators in meeting the new regulatory requirements, the Province is partnering with the Community Action Initiative to provide one-time grant funding. Registered supportive recovery operators can apply for up to $4,000 per residence. Applications for these grants will be available this fall.  

Supportive recovery homes offer services like psychosocial supports, relapse prevention and coping skills, peer counselling, medication management, meal services and social opportunities to people with addiction challenges in a residential setting.

These regulatory changes and increase in daily rates are part of government’s actions outlined in A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for making the system of mental health and addictions care better for people by providing safe, quality supportive recovery services, no matter where a person lives in B.C.

Implementing the mental health and addictions strategy is a shared priority with the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Scott Kolodychuk, operations manager, Trilogy House One

“People who turn to a supportive recovery home are often at the end of their rope — desperate for help wherever they can find it. These changes will help families find some peace of mind ensuring registered supportive recovery homes will keep people’s loved ones safe and offer consistent, high-quality care no matter where they are in B.C.”

Melinda Markey, provincial secretariat director, Community Action Initiative (CAI)

“Over the past year, CAI has convened dialogue between community stakeholders and the provincial government regarding regulatory changes that will impact supportive recovery home operators and the individuals and families who access their services. For many who access a supportive recovery assisted living residence, engaging with staff is often the first support they receive. Staff use a variety of tools to build and maintain relationships with program participants and will now be supported through training grants to increase their knowledge in several key areas. With the provincial grants, operators will have additional resources to ensure their recovery home employees have the necessary training and skills to be able to work effectively with people on their journey to recovery.”  

Susan Sanderson, executive director, Realistic Success Recovery Society

“Recovery home operators have been struggling to provide professional services without the financial recourses to adequately meet their obligations. This funding is essential for a strong and viable addiction recovery sector to meet the growing needs of our clients.”

Learn More:

Assisted Living Registry:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/accessing-health-care/assisted-living-registrar

Mental health and substance use residences:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/accessing-health-care/assisted-living-registrar/assisted-living-residences/mental-health-and-substance-use-assisted-living

Community Care and Assisted Living Act:
http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/00_02075_01

26Jul

Daphne Bramham: Recovery homes’ dilemma: Trying to comply with regulations that have yet to be written

by admin

After three years of operating two registered recovery houses, in January 2016 Cole Izsak found what he believed — and still believes — is the perfect place.

But before taking possession, the owner and executive-director of Back on Track Recovery applied to the provincial health ministry to essentially grandfather his operation and transfer the registration of one of his houses to the new site.

Because Back on Track has never had any substantiated complaints, he didn’t expect any problems and, a month later, shut the registered house and opened a four-plex now called The Fortress.

The next month, Izsak closed one of the two houses that were registered by the provincial government and moved to the new compound with internal, off-street parking at 9889-140th Street in Surrey.

He still wasn’t concerned when in May, the ministry said it was putting a hold on his application while both the province and Surrey were formulating new regulations.

Since then, it is rare that any of the 40 beds — two per bedroom in each of the five-bedroom houses — are empty.

While Back on Track continues to operate the one registered house, The Fortress remains unregistered, with only two of four business licenses that it needs.

For the last 2½ years, Surrey’s bylaw inspectors have been telling Izsak that unless all four houses at The Fortress get their provincial registry, the city can’t license the houses until the registration from the health ministry comes through, certifying that services offered meet its standards of care.

In mid-May, Back on Track and its residents were told that the licenses were being revoked and the four houses would have to close at the end of July. It has since been given a reprieve, pending a decision from the provincial registrar.

“If Mr. Izsak’s registration comes through, we’ll be prepared to do our own inspections for renewal or issuance of the licenses,” bylaw services manager Kim Marosevich said this week.

In late May, after Maggie Plett first spoke publicly about her son Zachary’s death at another Surrey recovery house called Step by Step, Addictions Minister Judy Darcy told News 1130, “We’re trying to make up for lost time over the past many, many years since the scandal started to break.

“But I would expect that we will have new, stronger regulations and enforcement in place by the end of the year.”

Throughout all of this, the government has paid Back on Track the $30.90 per diem that covers the cost of room, board and recovery services for each welfare recipient living there — a rate that has remained unchanged for 16 years.

Izsak doesn’t know why the ministry has yet to make a decision on his application. The mental health and addictions ministry has not yet responded to my questions about it.

On Tuesday, Izsak gave me a tour of the four neatly kept houses. He showed me the well-supplied pantry where residents are free to take whatever food they want and as much as they want. There is also an open-air gym and smoking lounge. Every room has a naloxone kit in case of an opioid overdose, and every few weeks, residents are given training on how to use them.

The half-dozen residents that I spoke to privately — including one who said he had been in at least 20 such facilities — said The Fortress is the best. They talked about feeling safe, well-cared for, and even loved.

Izsak makes no apology for not having more set programming in the houses.

“People who are coming off the street or out of prison are not going to surrender to eight hours of programs per day,” he said. “But what they will surrender to is coming to a place like this where they are fed well, have a clean bed, a TV, and programming from 9 a.m. until noon.”

He acknowledged that there are no certified counsellors or therapists working there. He devised a recovery program called MECCA based on his own experiences in recovery that is delivered by others who are in recovery.

Izsak also said he cannot afford to hire certified addictions counsellors and specialized therapists, as they do at recovery houses where monthly rates are anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 a month.

Right now, registered facilities don’t require that, according to the registry’s website.

What’s required is that all staff and volunteers “must have the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and training to perform their tasks and meet the health and safety of residents.”

Far from bridling at more regulations, Izsak has a long list of his own that he would like the province to enact to weed out bad operators.

It includes random site inspections, manager-on-duty logbooks documenting what happens every two hours from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., and a requirement that all operators provide their expense receipts.

After three recent deaths in recovery houses, Izsak is now a man on a mission.

“I want to close operations that are bad so that I’m not treated almost like a criminal because they acted unscrupulously.”

Of course, he first needs to save his own.

[email protected]

Twitter: @bramham_daphne


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3Mar

City of Vancouver, province open Nora Hendrix Place modular homes

by admin


Albert Briggs plays drums as Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant; and Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver look on at the opening of Norah Hendrix Place.


NICK PROCAYLO / PNG

Nora Hendrix has been described as a remarkable woman who was the glue that connected Vancouver’s early black community.

On Sunday, the provincial government and the City of Vancouver officially opened a temporary modular housing project in Strathcona named after Hendrix, to honour her legacy and that of the black community that was wiped out of the area in the 1960s.

“Ms. Hendrix was a tireless advocate for her community,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson.

The province committed 17 months ago to building 2,000 units of temporary modular housing across the province, with 606 of those units in Vancouver. The provincial government pledged $66 million toward the Vancouver projects.

In Vancouver, 554 provincially-funded modular homes have already been opened on nine sites. Nora Hendrix Place, a three-storey building with 52 units that will be run by the Portland Hotel Society, is the final project to be completed in the city. It’s expected that people will start moving in this week.

“Hundreds of people are living outside with nowhere to sleep, use the washroom or get regular food and water, and this isn’t how you treat your neighbours,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “We’re trying to do everything we can to make sure everyone is included and has a roof over their head.”

Stewart said the modular housing units are a testament to cooperation between multiple levels of government, non-profits and the community, and he looks forward to working on more in the future.

The studio units, built by Horizon North, are about 320 square feet each in size and have a kitchenette, bathroom, and a living/sleeping area. Six homes are wheelchair accessible. The building has an indoor amenity space, commercial kitchen, laundry facilities, administration office and meeting rooms for the staff and residents.

All new modular housing buildings have staff on site 24 hours a day and provide services and supports such as meals, education and work opportunities, healthcare, life skills, social and recreational programs, case planning and needs assessment and help navigating government services.


The new 52-unit modular housing project at 268 Union St. in Vancouver opened Saturday. It honours honours Nora Hendrix, who was a pillar of the early Vancouver black community, which was centred in Strathcona.

NICK PROCAYLO /

PNG

To honour its location in what used to be Hogan’s Alley and the woman it is named after, the housing project will have some services and supports geared specifically to the needs of the black and Indigenous communities, and members of those groups who are experiencing homelessness will be prioritized.

“Let’s call it what it is: This city has a history of anti-black racism, it has history of anti-Indigenous racism,” said Stewart. “It has a long history of racism that we’re addressing through reconciliation but I think today it’s also addressing damage of the past.”

Hendrix came to Vancouver in 1911 and became an important figure in the East End neighbourhood — now Strathcona — and Hogan’s Alley in particular, which at the time was home to Vancouver’s black community.

Hendrix started the Vancouver chapter of the African Methodist Episcopal Fountain Chapel, where people gathered to pray and socialize. She also cooked at Vie’s Chicken and Steak House on Union, which was part of Hogan’s Alley. Her grandson, rock legend Jimi Hendrix, was known to visit the area during his childhood.

Many of the homes and businesses in the community were demolished to make way for the “urban-renewal projects” and the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.

“That monument to our oppression … was what displaced our community,” said June Francis, co-chair of the Hogan’s Alley society, gesturing to the Dunsmuir viaduct. “It displaced our hopes, it displaced our dreams, it displaced our businesses.”

The modular housing site will eventually be redeveloped as part of the city’s North East False Creek Plan, which calls for the black community to be honoured and what was formerly Hogan’s Alley to be a focal point. A black cultural centre is a centrepiece to the redevelopment, and the city hopes to employ land trusts and long-term leases to build the community.

[email protected]

twitter.com/jensaltman

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