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Province provides support for Prince George seniors facing homelessness

The Prince George Council of Seniors is part of the Senior Housing Information and Navigation Ease (SHINE) program.
The Prince George Council of Seniors is one of 10 B.C. agencies offering the Senior Housing Information and Navigation Ease (SHINE) program.

The Prince George Council of Seniors has received additional funding for a program to help seniors living with mental health and addiction issues, and facing homelessness, access supports.

On Friday, the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions announced $809,000 in additional funding for 10 community agencies providing the Seniors Housing Information and Navigation Ease (SHINE) program. The program is delivered by the Prince George Council of Seniors, Seniors First BC, Moving Forward Family Services and local agencies in Nanaimo, Langley, Kelowna, Surrey, Vancouver and New Westminster. New partners will expand the service to Victoria, Richmond and Penticton this year.

"For many seniors, navigating housing, financial aid, mental-health and addictions and other services without assistance can be extremely difficult," Mental Health and Addictions Minister Jennifer Whiteside said in a statement issued on Friday. "Without help, seniors may be at risk of falling into poverty, homelessness, experience discrimination and inequality. That's why we're proud to support programs such as SHINE, to help more seniors with mental-health and addictions challenges in communities across B.C. get the help they need and deserve."

SHINE helps connect seniors to supports for mental health and addictions, financial assistance, safe housing, and provides advocacy in disputes where seniors are being unfairly pushed out of rental homes.

"SHINE was envisioned as a city-specific, senior-centred network that balances prevention and responsiveness in addressing widening gaps in the systems supporting older adults," said Alison Silgardo, CEO of the Seniors Services Society of B.C. "This includes housing, mental health, addictions, attachment to health, exit from health, technology, access to finance, food insecurity and supports to help them age in place, to name a few.”