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Film & Forum For Mental
Illness Awareness & Homelessness
& The Schoolhouse, 2007, 6 min
7 October 2008 at St John The Divine Church with Judy Graves

The PROGRESSIVE RECOVERY GROUP* presents a forum with Judy Graves, Homeless Advocate and Coordinator of the Tenant Assistance Program of the City of Vancouver, plus local speakers. In 2005, Ms. Graves, who has worked 30 years in the field, began a pilot project to get homeless people off the streets, one by one. The Vancouver Homeless Outreach Project involved teams of two people hitting the streets at
Judy Graves
dawn and having a homeless person register for welfare and in some type of housing - by noon. The project was so successful it's recently been expanded. Of those the city has helped under the program, 80 per cent are still in housing and 93 per cent are still on welfare. The evening will include the screening of the documentary Out Of The Shadow

PRG is a group of helping organizations in Victoria including: BC Schizophrenia Society, Coolaid/REES, Movie Monday, CMHA, Umbrella, LifeRing, FORCE, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Need Crisis Line, Friends Of Music and others for more information on this and another event Oct 6 with Ms Graves

Bruce says, "In choosing films for Mental Illness Awareness Week I felt that these two were great fits. Both accentuate the importance of safe, reliable shelter, supportive housing - a home - in the combination of supports that really help people who have mental illness and addiction challenges.

Not all people with those troubles are living on the street. Not all who are homeless are visible on the street or dealing with mental illness or addiction. Any of us are surprisingly close to those predicaments. But for so many, without safe stable place to live, life is chaos.

In a discussion about an excellent film Elling, then director of CMHA Gail Simpson described a person living in a SRO room, having to sleep on the floor with his feet to his door to keep from being hassled and robbed. His place had been broken into so often that the landlord refused to fix the lock again.

How can one get organized with daily conditions like that? When he got into a decent apartment he couldn't believe he had a bathroom all his own, could take a shower when he wanted, without having to wait his day. Good accommodation is essential. A basic human right.

I'm pleased to be collaborating with the excellent agencies in the Progressive Recovery Group and supported by Canada Council For The Arts VIHA and our other supporters to make these events possible.

I'm very pleased to have Judy Graves coming to Victoria to share her insights into the challenges and solutions with our community."

At both Oct 6 & 7 events - our guest: Judy Graves - Coordinator of the Tenant Assistance Program of the City of Vancouver, plus local speakers.

In 2005, Ms. Graves, who has worked 30 years in the field, began a pilot project to get homeless people off the streets, one by one. The Vancouver Homeless Outreach Project involved teams of two people hitting the streets at dawn and having a homeless person register for welfare and in some type of housing - by noon. The project was so successful it's recently been expanded. Of those the city has helped under the program, 80 per cent are still in housing and 93 per cent are still on welfare.


Panel at the Oct 7 Mental Illness and Homelessness Forum at St Johns The Divine Church. Left to right: Jo-Ann Roberts CBC Victoria All Points West Host, Judy Graves Vancouver Housing Advocate, Phil Ward Pacifica Housing, David Mitchell Fountain House, recovery mentor, Al Tysick Our Place, Kirsten Duncan social worker, Act Team manager.


On 6 October MMs' Bruce Saunders took part in a discussion of this film on the CBC Radio program 'All Points West'. Have a listen

During the week of 20-24 October the CBC Radio program 'All Points West' broadcast five programs about the homeless. very interesting