Canadian seniors experience multiple barriers in terms of accessing age appropriate housing. With large numbers of our aging population on a fixed income, COVID-19 has drastically intensified the need for social programming in areas of food security, mental health, and housing. While Nanaimo is a diverse and active city, seniors continue to experience systemic barriers in accessing the means to finding safe and secure housing. Finding long-term housing that is affordable, safe, and adaptive to changing physical needs is incredibly challenging. A chaotic rental market combined with low wages/pensions, precarious employment, and limited affordable housing options have created a situation where many of Nanaimo’s seniors find themselves at risk of homelessness. With one-bedroom rental units averaging $1100 per month, many seniors are paying over 70% of their monthly income just on housing alone.
SHINE/NFLA is not a housing provider, nor are we able to provide housing placements; however, our Seniors Housing Navigator can provide information that will help Nanaimo seniors move forward in finding suitable housing.
Housing instability can add a layer of stress to our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing which is why we are seeking volunteers who can practice non-judgement, compassion, and empathy to the seniors they are providing service to. SHINE volunteers must have effective and clear written and verbal communication skills. The volunteer must also be able to read and write effectively in English.
This volunteer position is primarily providing support via online spaces and phone and can include: offering support in navigating the private rental market on Facebook, etc., liaising between landlords and the client, monitoring our Facebook page and responding to clients messages, and offering support with filling out housing forms online (i.e. BC Housing). The volunteer will check in with seniors who are experiencing difficulties with housing and offer them support where necessary.
Training around conversational approaches to talking to folks experiencing housing barriers will be provided to all SHINE Volunteers. All volunteers will be provided to complete a criminal record check.
If interested, contact Kurstin Rispin, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 754-3331 ext. 716