Hub brings it all together in one place for people deemed ‘most vulnerable’

·3 min read

It’s on the frontlines and ready for battle.

Vulnerable people in Nelson and area can now access the Co-ordinated Access Hub — located at 521 Vernon St., in the old Nelson CARES building — a service that draws together the full spectrum of social services in the city.

The one-stop shop provides many of the supports and services for people who may be at risk or experiencing homelessness, including employment services, housing, harm reduction and health services.

The Hub means vulnerable people in Nelson will have greater access to local services which will help tackle homelessness as the community recovers from the impacts of the pandemic, said Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson.

“The people of Nelson have long worked together to support those in need in our community,” she said in a release. “I’m pleased to see this work evolving into the Co-ordinated Access Hub, connecting people with the services they need and making Nelson a more welcoming place to live.”

The city received $278,016 to create the Hub, the money part of the province’s Strengthening Communities Program which is providing support to 48 communities across B.C.

Over $76 million was earmarked to support local governments to combat the impacts of homelessness and keep their communities safe and healthy as they recover from the pandemic.

The program is investing more than $76 million in projects, such as outreach and mental health supports, and expanding or creating new temporary shelters for people experiencing homelessness.

Grass roots

The intent of the Nelson Hub is to deliver frontline services in one spot, connecting vulnerable people to what they might need including harm reduction, episodic overdose prevention, and a way to connect to opioid agonist therapy and safe pharmaceuticals. It’s a single source for employment supports and an access point to obtaining housing.

The Hub first started operating in June and is open every day from 1-5 p.m. It offers a place for people to relax, connect and get food and water.

People can also obtain some gear for camping and clothing inside at the free store.

The Hub also offers access to nursing care and the Nelson Street Outreach and the Kootenay Career Development’s peer-employment program.

One door closes

The pandemic closed one of the more popular drop-in spaces in the city at ANKORS, but the Hub now fills that need for access.

It creates a low-barrier program that reaches the people who are the most in need, and knits together several different organizations under one roof as well.

Opportunity knocks

The Hub is also hiring with the search for a drop-in attendant (https://kootenay.jobs/job/nelson-cares-society-nelson-casual-full-time-access-hub-drop-in-attendant/ ).

The city, the Nelson Committee on Homelessness, Interior Health and local agencies are partnering on the Hub to provide emergency services for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The drop-in attendant is a temporary position to June 1, 2022.

Job summary:

The drop-in attendant will work to provide a safe and welcoming space for guests seeking outreach and services.

This staff member will ensure that all COVID-19 protocols are followed and that drop-in services (clothing, food, outreach, referrals, etc.) are provided to clients.

The drop-in attendant is expected to prioritize building positive relationships with clients and be ready to respond to emergencies.

Source: Kootenay Career Development Society

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily

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