1. Seniors Housing Navigators
located within each partner organization to identify barriers to accessing or maintaining stable housing, and provide assistance navigating housing options that meet the clients’ unique needs.
2. Community Connectors
located across the SHINE network to reduce isolation and increase social and service connections for seniors through referrals to local, community-based programs and education.
3. Improving Access
A Seniors Mental Health & Wellness Provincial Resource online directory and Provincial Seniors Housing Directory aimed to increase the accessibility of senior-specific housing and mental health information.
4. Capacity Building
Strengthening Communities and Building Collaboration by contributing to research projects, developing new initiatives, building a network of service providers, advocating for positive change, and building capacity in the sector.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is SHINE?
- The SHINE program is a B.C.-wide initiative that supports vulnerable seniors who are at risk of becoming homeless to navigate mental health and addiction supports offered by the Province.
- SHINE facilitates timely access to and navigation of appropriate housing services and supports for seniors.
- SHINE makes a positive impact on housing affordability because it focuses on preventing the seniors’ homelessness.
- For many seniors in BC, navigating housing, financial assistance, mental health and addictions and other services can be extremely difficult without assistance.
Q2. We heard that SHINE’s funding was going to end in early 2022 which would have been detrimental to seniors across the Province – is this grant a replacement?
- We’ve heard from community members just how important the SHINE program is to helping those seniors who need housing and mental health and addictions support.
- Because the program works so well, we wanted to continue funding it so they could enhance their services for seniors.
- That’s why we are proving a grant of $720,000 to SHINE, so they can keep doing the wonderful work they are already doing and provide even more support for seniors across the Province.
Q3. How will the funding be used? Where will the funding go?
- SHINE is jointly funded by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and led by Seniors Services Society of B.C. (SSSBC).
- The provincial grant to SHINE will ensure seniors across the Province are getting the support they deserve.
- This grant from the Province will help SHINE Partners enhance services into communities in Nanaimo, Vancouver, the Interior (Kelowna) and expand services into the North (Prince George), to allow SHINE’s partners to access services and connect more seniors with SHINE’s services.
- The funding will allow part-time positions to become full-time paid positions, including:
- A program manager
- Navigation and community connection roles in each region
- A Housing Navigator Trainer
- A virtual mental health and addiction support program
- Housing navigation training provincially (the attached poster has information on the content. It is an old poster for this year)
- An additional information and referral person with services available for extended hours on evenings and weekends (this will allow families of older adults to be able to access support when they are not working)
Q4. Is there any further funding slated for SHINE? Do they receive annual funding?
- There is no annual funding planned at this time, but we receive funding proposal periodically for consideration.
Q5. Is the Province funding any other programs like SHINE?
- SHINE is a unique program in British Columbia and received funding through a grant from MMHA.
- Since 2019, the Province has invested $14.8M to support 49 community counselling organizations, across British Columbia. Through this investment the Province has expanded access to community-based low- and no-cost mental health and substance use supports, which includes access for seniors.
- Our government invested a historic $500 million in Budget 2021 to build a comprehensive system of mental health and addictions care that people in British Columbia deserve.
Q6. Does Seniors Services Society of B.C. and SHINE support Indigenous People and Elders?
- Yes, they do – a small percentage identify as Indigenous.
- The Senior Services Society of B.C. and SHINE also have strong partnerships with the First Nations Health Authority and First Nations Housing providers.
Q7. What other mental health and addictions supports are available for seniors?
- The pandemic, toxic drug crisis and extreme weather events have led to an increase in mental health issues for many people in B.C., particularly those with existing challenges and barriers to accessing services.
- Demand for mental health and substance use services is up and people are reaching out for help.
- Since the pandemic began, we have invested $13.8M for additional mental health and addictions supports and services as quickly as possible. This includes virtual low- and no-cost mental health supports, including low- and no-cost counselling services. These services and more can be found online at gov.bc.ca/mentalhealthsupports.
- Mental health and wellness tools and resources online, such as the COVID-19 mental health check in https://cmhabc.force.com/MentalHealthCheckIn/s/
- Some services related to seniors:
- Seniors Distress Line: (604) 872-1234, available 24/7
- BounceBack: provides free access to online, video and phone-based coaching and skills-building for seniors, adults and youth who are experiencing low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress, or worry. https://bouncebackbc.ca/
- Services are offered in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Punjabi – https://cmha.bc.ca/
- Other supports available for Seniors:
- Find resources from the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health at ccsmh.ca
- Find info sheets in the Seniors and Depression Series at heretohelp.bc.ca/factsheet/seniors-and-depression-series
- BC Mental Health Support Line (310-6789—no area code needed), the Seniors Distress Line (604-872-1234) or a local senior’s support organization (search for organizations at bc211.ca)
- These resources are helping provincial and community-based organizations provide the mental health and addictions services that many British Columbians are seeking right now.
- We will continue to build on the supports we have created so people can continue to get the help they need when they need it.