Rental subsidies are available for people in the Fort St. James area who are struggling and need assistance to secure a place to live.
The Homeless Prevention program, run by the Nechako Valley Community Services Society can help applicants in four categories: women facing domestic violence; people who have been released from hospital or incarceration; First Nations men or women; or youth (aged 19 and up) who are transitioning from foster care.
Lynda Lewis, Program Manager for the Fort St. James office of the NVCSS, says that those enrolled in the program receive up to $450 per month to assist with expenses. “We can subsidize their rent, or pay a portion of their utilities; or we can pay a damage deposit, or help out with storage or moving costs, or some combination of these up to the $450. In the case of the utilities, for example, we’d sit down with people and go over their budget.”
“It’s a very inclusive program, and we don’t turn anyone away,” says Dana Grant, who works for the NVCSS. “Even if you don’t fit in one of the four categories we can still find other ways to help, such as sitting down and helping plan a budget, or just talking with you to see how we can help.”
“It’s a program where people who are struggling can get help,” says Lewis. “And anyone can bring someone in or refer them: a friend, neighbour, family member.” She notes that the program is nowhere near being fully utilized, which is a concern. “If the program isn’t used then we risk losing it.”
For more information about this and other programs offered by the NVCSS, phone them at (250) 996-7645, or visit the website at www.nvcss.ca