A new mobile health team and a supervised injection site are planned for the Downtown Eastside to help an estimated 100 street-entrenched women.

20 Oct 2016

“There was this group that we were having a hard time finding, attaching ourselves to, and delivering services in a way that was safe,” Vancouver Coastal Health director Bonnie Wilson said Thursday. The new Women’s Intensive Case Management Team is expected to be on the streets by next spring. The program will cost $1 million a year, or an estimated $10,000 a year per client. Initial funding is coming from a $3-million mystery donation.


Wilson said numbers are hard to track because these women are less likely to seek help from established sources. “At any one time they’ll have a caseload of 100 people. That may increase to 300 as people come in and out. It’s really hard to predict right now what that full caseload will be,” she said.

The women they’re seeking to help include those in the survival sex trade, the mentally ill and addicted, the homeless and the “precariously housed,” Wilson said.

The mobile van will be staffed by all-female outreach nurses, clinicians, a team leader and a peer support worker, who will find the women and steer them to substance-use treatment, housing, employment and other social services.

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