Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February 5, 2018 Council Meeting Notes: ICM team getting people with substance use issues support and housing in Langley

Langley City council advocated to the provincial government for the past several years to get a specialized team together that can help people with substance use issues get support and housing on their road to recovery.

This fall, Fraser Health launched an Intensive Case Management team for Langley. The ICM team provides:

  • Substance use counselling and/or access to treatment
  • Housing brokerage and support
  • Daily living skills supports and skill building
  • Connections to primary, dental, and specialist care
  • Grocery shopping
  • Accessing vocational rehabilitation support
  • Connections to community resources
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Supporting and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, personal hygiene, short and long-term goal setting, and money management.

To aid the ICM team, BC Housing is providing 30 rent subsides.

At Monday night’s Langley City council meeting, Sanjeev Nand from Langley Community Services Society, and Corinne Blasius who is the program manager of the ICM team, provided an update on Langley’s new ICM team.

The following chart shows the number of people that have been referred to the ICM team. Currently, they have over 50 open files.

Number of community referrals to ICM team. Select image to enlarge.

One of the misconceptions in the community is that people who are being referred into the program, and need housing, are young. The ICM team has found that most of the people referred into the program are 45+.

Age of people referred to ICM team. Select image to enlarge.

The ICM team helps people that have substances use issues. Substances use issues and mental health issues are usually link, but that isn’t always the case. I asked how the ICM team helps people that don’t have a substance use issue. Council was told that they refer people to other programs for help.

One of the key things for me is to get people off the street and housed. In the last few months, the ICM team has worked to get four people housed throughout the community. One of the barriers to getting more people housed is waiting for the Quality Inn supportive housing facility to open in the Township of Langley.

Nand and Blasius stated that it would be irresponsible to house some people without the services that supportive housing provides such as “on-site, non-clinical supports, such as life-skills training, and connections to primary health care, mental health or substance use services.” BC Housing has more information on their website about what services are available at supportive housing facilities.

I also asked Blasius if 30 units of housing would be enough. Council was told that given the numbers of people referred to the program, they would likely need more units of supportive housing.

Getting people into supportive housing, and help with substance use issues, is the only way that we will be able to get people off the streets permanently. Council’s role will be to continue to be strong advocates for more supportive housing in Langley and our region, and to advocate to ensure that the ICM team has the resources they need.

Nand and Blasius concluded their presentation with several case studies of the people who the ICM team is helping. The following is one of the case studies:

Male, Early 40s

  • Divorced, father of two school aged children
  • Cocaine/crack use
  • Relocated to area to live closer to children, no community supports
  • Person with disabilities income of $600/month
  • Multiple physical diagnosis and prescribed medications
  • Was living in a barn
  • Now housed on a small hobby farm in a private residence
  • Substance use discontinued
  • Opportunity to earn small wage for part-time farm chores
  • Stabilized with ongoing support from ICM team

Tomorrow, I will be posting about the other remaining items that were covered at Monday night’s council meeting.

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