The Sweet Opportunities Continue

Planning to fill a stocking with chocolate? Maybe a Christmas party gift? Why not support ICCS at the same time by participating in our Purdy's Chocolate Group Purchase fundraiser? You can register to shop here:

25% of profits go directly to ICCS to help fund existing programs and develop and expand effective solutions for homelessness in Nanaimo and Parksville. Place your order today!

Did you know?

Did you know that Samaritan House is Nanaimo’s only homeless shelter for women and has been in operation by Island Crisis Care Society as a shelter since the early 80’s?

Did you know that Island Crisis Care Society offers choices for homeless women in Nanaimo through our supportive and transitional housing and rent subsidies?

Did you know that Island Crisis Care Society has been a part of the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness for several years and is part of the Homeless Outreach Team that supports clients to maintain their housing 7 days per week?

Did you know that Island Crisis Care Society has two crisis stabilization homes in Nanaimo which are funded through Island Health? We also have one in Parksville. These homes provide a warm bed, food, care and support for adults who are in crisis.

Did you know that in 2010 Island Crisis Care Society purchased and renovated the house adjacent to Safe Harbour house and in 2011 began providing longer term supportive stays to clients who have reached a level of stability in their recovery but benefit from continuing support?

Did you know that in the summer months of June, July and August Samaritan House had 48 new faces accessing the shelter? 85 unique individuals stayed with us during this time. In July and August we had 112% occupancy which means clients were sleeping on mats and some were turned away.

Did you know that Samaritan House which is run by Island Crisis Care Society is a women’s shelter that operates out of an old Victorian building at 355 Nicol Street? We have purchased the empty lot next door and hope to build an expansion soon.

Blue Bank Campaign

Is Your Church Participating in our Blue Bank Campaign?

If so, here is a quick Summary:

  • Theme: Thankful to have a Home!
  • When: Sunday September 10th through Thanksgiving October 10th
  • What: Anyone Interested can take the bank home, drop in change, bills, cheques every time they feel thankful to have a home, then bring it back on thanksgiving.
  • Where: Your church, your home, and the home you create for someone without a home!
  • Why: Supports Island Crisis Care Society to provide emergency and transitional housing for women and men in the Nanaimo region at Samaritan House, Crescent House, Safe Harbour House, the Bridge, and Hirst House.
  • Who: Call Violet, Richard, or Michelle at 778-441-4227 to come and pick up the banks when they are ready.
  • Our New Video about ICCS:

We are Thankful for Students!

At ICCS we welcome student. Each year students come to us for practicums and volunteer experience. Some learn about frontline work, others do research, and some return as employees after they have completed their schooling! Last year we hosted a student research team from VIU to investigate gaps in our services, and this summer we were fortunate to receive funding for a summer student to help us with administration and media.

If you visited our offices over the summer you might have met Andrew. We all appreciated his energy, creativity, and diligence. Andrew was involved in the preparation for our Blue Bank campaign as well as the upcoming Sweets for the Streets fundraiser for the Samaritan House Expansion. Andrew also produced an informative video about ICCS which we previewed at our recent AGM. If you missed that screening, you can watch it on our YouTube feed. Thanks Andrew for a great video, and for all you did this summer. We wish you all the best in your ongoing education.

Hugs and Ripples

Free Hugs Crew in Front of Samaritan HouseThe idea was simple. Offer free hugs and give an opportunity for people to donate money to buy underwear and pyjamas for women who are homeless. K'reen Kerr, her daughter Keoni, and her friend Brynn Logan headed down to Maffeo Sutton Park last Saturday and after a few hours the donation basket had $229.00 in it!

"One guy was at the park with his wife and 4 daughters, he was shocked when we told him why we were doing it. He dropped a $100 bill in the basket! I think he was thinking, what if it was one of his daughters." And the truth is that every woman who arrives at an emergency shelter scared and alone is someone's daughter, mother, or sister. K'reen heard about the need when a friend on Facebook shared a news article from the Bulletin about unusually high demand at Samaritan House.

Who needed hugs on Saturday? Middle aged women, kids, and elderly folks, mostly. K'reen was surprised at how many kids came up for a hug, and she was moved by their unself-conscious response. That day Oceanside Church and the Salvation Army had been offering a fun event for families at the park called, "Love Your City," and one woman offered a teary promise that her church group would do more to support the shelter. This is the power of spontaneous generosity like that shown by K'reen, Keoni, and Brynn -- it raises awareness and creates ripples of compassion and kindness.

Missed the hugs but still want to be part of the ripples? You can donate online by visiting our Canada Helps Donation page.

Renaya Gives Hope

Renaya Hoffman is an empathetic 8 year old. When she sees someone suffering, she feels for them. A few months ago she saw someone not doing too well, living on the street. She asked her dad how she could help. They did some research to find out who in Nanaimo helps people who are homeless. Of the fine groups and organizations they looked at, Renaya picked ICCS. The story of society founder Matthew Brown originally caught her eye, and as she learned about the society's work to meet the needs of hurting people in her community it inspired her to ask her friends to join her effort.

Renaya and Darren Hoffman

"Instead of giving me a present on my birthday," she said, "let's help someone who really needs it." Her friends and her dad generously responded so that Renaya was able to present ICCS Finance Manager Marilyn Laktin with two cheques totalling: $325.

"We are very proud of her," Darren Hoffman said of his daughter, "We wanted her to know that you can make a difference in the world, no matter what age you are."

People who find themselves homeless have many pressing needs. Food, shelter, clothing. Renaya's donation will help provide some real tangible stuff, and more than that, her generous spirit and good example will inspire others to do the same.

Thanks Renaya, your compassion gives us hope!

Think what a great world it would be if everyone cared for their neighbour like Renaya does.

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