Lily came to South Vancouver Neighbourhood House with a tight frown. She had to find a shelter in a week before the move-out deadline. “When renters know I pay my bills on income assistance, they always have excuses to say no.” Lily has health issues due to hard work in her young age, and she has to raise her teenage daughter on her limited income assistance. “My daughter is 16 years old, but we still have to share a small bedroom to save money.” With multiple barriers – finance, health, employment, and language – Lily is experiencing a tough time.
Unfortunately, there are no shelter services at SVNH to help Lily with her urgent housing need. However, staff did not give up. We made calls and connected her with a Vietnamese-speaking worker at another agency. “Their office is very close to my home. I can walk there and save a bus ticket.” Knowing she uses regular compass card, staff double-checked information for an annual bus pass. When Lily learned she is eligible to pay only $45 for a whole year pass, she calculated quickly. “I can save about $100 for the rest of this year!” For the first time that morning, Lily had bright smile.