COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Affordable Housing for Survivors of Violence
- Program name:
Aboriginal Elder Support Program
Pacific Association of First Nations Women
Vancouver, British Columbia
- Target Group:
Seniors (women and men ages 55 and over)
- Contact Name:
Ruth Alfred, Elder Outreach Support Worker
The program was initiated in 2000 and has expanded to include "Protecting Our Grandmothers" a one year program funded through the Aboriginal Health Initiative Program (included a series of workshops on health, elder abuse, and support with shopping on pension day).
- Goals & Objectives:
To improve the quality of seniors' lives with the necessary means for maintaining spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. To offer support and outreach to Elders in the urban community for their health, medical and housing needs. To provide services to Elders in a manner that is accessible to them (e.g. at home, at another, over the phone, etc.).
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Elders may be referred to traditional healers that are from the person's territory to provide traditional cultural support.
- Components of program:
The program provides assistance with housing applications and referrals to other agencies as required. Program staff, where possible, will accompany clients to appointments (doctor, dentist, and housing). Staff will also conduct home visits to seniors who are isolated in the area and who cannot readily attend the program on their own. Staff will shop with or for the client. The program offers follow up support in the form of accessing community health networks and resources that provide home support after leaving the hospital. Where needed, the program will provide referrals to transitional housing.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility and out in the community when clients are assisted (this includes in home visitation).
Funding provided by Vancouver Coastal Health.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
The program is designed around individual client needs.
Vancouver Downtown East Side Women's Centre, Carnegie Centre, Aboriginal Front Door, Social Workers in Hospitals (patients may need home care, assisted living placement, etc), Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC, Vancouver Native Housing Society and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society
- Other relationships:
other groups, agencies or organizations depending on Elder needs
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
The Aboriginal Elder Support Program provides quarterly reports (including a narrative and statistics) to Vancouver Coast Health. Annually, Vancouver Coastal Health meets with the Elder Support Outreach Worker to discuss the quarterly reports. Program adjustments are discussed at this time.
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured against client feedback as well as input from community agencies.
Obtaining settlements from government for harms done through residential schools. Successfully returning clients to the community in a safe and supported manner has been a major achievement.
The facility operates with limited human resources and limited funding. It is challenging working with Elders who are self-medicating. It is also difficult to find adequate housing for clients.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. Elders would need to be treated with respect and without judgement. Any potential program would need to develop relationships with other related organizations and agencies as well as the communities being assisted. Community support is essential to program success. The program needs to focus on each individual Elder's needs.
Adequate funding would need to be acquired.
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