Welcome to Seasons House!
Our mission is to create a place of safety and support for homeless individuals in our community, where they can receive shelter, nourishment and services which foster independence and success. Serving people of all races, creeds, religions, sexual orientation and gender identities. We do not discriminate. We are proud to offer the following programs and services to our community:
Stats At A Glance
Emergency Shelter Beds
Transitional Housing Units
Hot Meals Served Per Month
Sandwiches Distributed Per Month
Housing First Program Intakes since 2015
Bed Stays in Emergency Shelter Program in 2015/16
Number of Naxolone Kits distributed in 2016
Clients currently in Housing First Program
pairs of socks distributed in 2016
Amount operating over capacity in 2016
Partnering organizations in our community
Medical Health Professionals on-site weekly
Individuals served experiencing absolute
homelessness in 2015/16
Number of individuals served by our Day Program in 2016
Mission & Principles
HARM REDUCTION • MINIMAL BARRIERS • HOUSING FIRST
Our mission is to create a place of safety and support for homeless individuals in our community, where they can receive shelter, nourishment and services which foster independence and success.
The shelter is based on the principles of harm reduction and minimal barriers. This means that there are minimal obstacles and barriers in the way of accessing our services. Seasons House recognizes that the work involves the most high needs and high risk members of our community and therefore needs to be creative and flexible in order to meet them where they are at so they can receive much needed services.
The Quesnel Shelter and Support Society was formed by a group of concerned community members who began to meet in November of 2006. Their vision was not only to provide a safe environment that would offer warmth and shelter for men, women, youth and families who are at risk of homelessness or who are homeless, but to also provide support and resources to facilitate personal development and improve their quality of life. The Quesnel Shelter and Support Society was formed and Seasons House opened its doors on May 12, 2008. Since then Seasons House has provided shelter, nourishment and support to hundreds of people. Through the funding support of BC Housing, the Northern Health Authority, financial contributions from local businesses and individuals, as well as our many community partnerships, the Society currently operate a Transitional Housing Program, Emergency Shelter Program, Housing First Program, a Day Program with various health supports, and a Supportive Recovery Program.
The Quesnel Shelter and Support Society is a non-profit society and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Society advocates for and provides minimal-barrier housing and support services to those in the Quesnel region who are destitute or low-income and who face barriers to housing for a variety of reasons, including mental illness, drug use, racism, or abusive family situations.
Programs & Services
All services at Seasons House are provided with respect, compassion and utmost confidentiality.
Housing First Program
Housing First operates on the philosophy that people are better able to move forward in their lives if their basic needs are first met; housing being a basic need and human right. There are no conditions, such as sobriety or psychiatric treatment, that need to be met prior to housing. Housing First Clients are provided with housing and then surrounded with supports based on their individual needs.
Since our program began, we have done over 100 intakes and fluctuate between 35-40 people housed out in the community in private sector housing. We have some incredible relationships with local landlords who are now looking to work with us before their places even get listed. This program has been incredibly successful! We have been able to move people, some who had been homeless for many years, into permanent housing and we have seen incredible physical and emotional health improvements.
The Housing First Furniture Bank allows us to help people make a “home”. We fully furnish and set people up in housing with everything from furniture, dishes, to special items such as photo frames and household decorations. For most of our clients, it would take months or years to obtain everything they need. All of the items in the furniture bank is donated from community members. We welcome donations to the furniture bank from the community.
For more information about our Housing First Program or to donate to the Furniture Bank please contact the Program Manager Amber Lloyd at (250) 991-0222.
10 Emergency Shelter Beds
To access emergency shelter an individual simply needs to come to Seasons House and meet with a Case Manager for support which includes individual case planning, support, shelter and meals.
8 Transitional Housing Units
Potential tenants are required to fill out an application which includes information on housing barriers and a statement of personal income and assets. Tenant selection is based on availability and a housing needs assessment that take into account the barriers they may be facing. Applications are available at Seasons House : Please contact the Transitional Housing Support Worker.
4 Support and Recovery Beds
Intended to provide support and stabilization to people who are working toward recovery from alcohol or drug addiction.
Please contact the the Support Recovery worker at the shelter for further direction on how to apply for admittance into a Support Recovery Bed.
Emergency Weather Response (EWR)
The EWR is accessible to homeless people during periods of extreme weather. The EWR is a seasonal program aimed at reducing hardships for homeless people, that normally would be turned away due to lack of funded bed spaces. It is a temporary response aimed at reducing the risk to the life and health of homeless people during extreme weather situations from November 1 until March 31.
Our Day Program has food services, showers, access to laundry facilities, clothing donations, toiletries, various health supports, and harm reduction supplies.
Take Home Naloxone
If you are looking to get overdose prevention and response training and a naloxone kit, please speak to a Case Manager at Seasons House.
We gratefully accept donations or volunteer support. Several of our programs rely entirely on donations from the community. Please contact us at the Shelter if you would like to volunteer and donations can be made at any time at 146 Carson Ave.
Shelter Donations gratefully accepted include:
We also collect donations of household goods and furniture for the Housing First Program. Please contact Amber to organize a drop-off of these kinds of items at (250) 991-0222.
Support Seasons House Programs
Financial donations are gratefully accepted at Seasons House or you can make an online donation below. Tax Receipts will be issued for donations over $20.00. Please include your name and mailing address in order to receive a tax receipt.
We greatly value the many incredible organizations who share our commitment to serving our community. The following list is the organizations we work with, and a brief description of the type of collaborations we have with them.
Amata Transition House: Liaison and partner with clients, partner with shared storage facility.
Wellness Way (Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Committee) They have supported us financially in the past and we are a member of the committee.
QWRC: Liaison with clients, collaborate on specific issues/events.
Cornerstone Chemical Dependency Clinic: Partner with them providing space and staff while they provide medical/health services at the shelter.
RCMP: Work cooperatively with them on community concerns and issues as well as collaborate and participate on their RCMP led Prolific/Chronic Offender Team.
ICAT: Collaboration by various organizations for high risk domestic violence cases.
Probation: Collaboration for mutual clients and we sit on various committees together.
Northern Health Mental Health and Addiction Services: Partner with them providing space and staff while they provide medical/health services at the shelter, collaboration with mutual clients.
QUESST: Collaboration with mutual clients.
Quesnel Tillicum Society/Native Friendship Centre: Collaboration with clients as well as event planning such as healing walks, feasts etc.
Public Health Nursing: Collaboration with clients and we offer space for them to have sexual health drop in clinics at the shelter, immunizations, as well as the distribution of Naloxone and public education initiatives.
Northern Health/ Nurse Practitioner: Partner with them providing space and staff while they provide medical/health services at the shelter.
Northern Health Physician: Partner with them providing space and staff while they provide medical/health services at the shelter
Northern Health/Native Friendship Centre: Psychiatric Nurse spends time at the shelter providing HIV/HepC testing and support to clients.
Quesnel Community Living: Liaison with clients, collaborate on specific issues/events.
Prima Day Program: They collect almost expired food items from various businesses and distribute them among non-profits including Seasons House. We are able to give out on average 10-15 bags of groceries to our most in need people living out in the community with limited incomes.
Kathy Wrath Health Services and Consulting: Harm Reduction collaboration, research and support.
Moving Mountains Research Group: Moving Mountains Research Working Group (MMRWG): This is a Research team led by UNBC and the Pacific Aids Network (PAN) to do some community based research and explore two streams of interest which include harm reduction and sex trade work in Northern Communities. We are a partner organization and may become a host community for a project.
Pacific Aids Network: Member organization, collaboration on provincial initiatives.
SD28: We provide educational sessions as requested, tours of the facility and students of all grades have done fundraisers, clothing and food drives for us.
City Of Quesnel: We have participated in housing studies and research, as well as various committees as requested or needed
WQBA: Annual sweater drive to support Seasons House, collaboration on annual hunger lunch event, coordination of donations from their businesses.
UNBC: We host many nursing and social work student placements at Seasons House as well as provide educational sessions/presentations as requested.
CNC: We have taken practicum students and provided educational presentations to students. Annual sock drive from student union.
ShelterNet BC: Member organization, collaboration on provincial initiatives.
BC Non Profit Housing Association: Member organization, collaboration on provincial initiatives.
Joe & Sylvia’s Thrift Store: We provide them with excess donations and in return they assist clients with clothing items when needed.
North Cariboo Realty: They are one of the main partners in our Housing First Program. We work collaboratively with them to house people out in the community.
Ongoing Business Supporters
We receive support from many businesses in our community on a regular basis. The list below is only comprised of those who have ongoing weekly or regular donations as we do receive many more donations from the community.
Bliss: Food donations
Panago: Pizza parties
Dominos: 10 pizzas every Wednesday
Savalas : Food donations
United Way of Northern BC: Monthly donation of bus/ transit tickets
Quesnel SPCA: Dog and cat food donations and assistance for our clients
United Church: Annual fundraising initiatives for us
Crooked Leg Ranch: dog and cat food donations and assistance for our clients
Save On Foods: Food donations
Quesnel Bakery: Weekly sweet donations
Common Myths about Homelessness
How much do you know about homelessness? There are many common misconceptions about what it means to experience homelessness and what resources are available.
Myth: All people who are homeless live on the street.
Fact: People who are visibly homelessness (the people we see on the street) are just part of the total homeless population. Researchers estimate that three out of four people who are homeless don’t sleep on the street, but use shelters, sleep in their cars, or on someone’s couch.
Myth: People who are homeless are lazy and don’t want to get a job.
Fact: People who are homeless face many challenges in getting and keeping a job. Without an address or phone number it is very difficult to apply for work and receive calls from possible employers. In addition, many employers require certain equipment or clothing to attend work. Things that working people need to do like take a shower, wear clean clothes and pay for transportation are nearly impossible for a person who is experiencing homeless.
Myth: People who are homeless sleep during the day in public places (like sidewalks and parks) because they always drunk or on drugs.
Fact: Members of the public mistakenly think that people sleep in public places because they are intoxicated. Mostly, people sleep during the day because it is not safe to sleep at night. People who are homeless are targets for violence and theft.
Myth: All people who are homeless are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Fact: Some people who are homeless do have addiction problems but studies show that less than half suffer from addictions.
Myth: Mental illness is the main reason people are homeless.
Fact: While some people who are homeless do suffer from mental illness, a recent study of homelessness in Canada has found the main reason for homelessness is poverty.
Myth: People choose to be homeless
Fact: There is no evidence to support this idea. When homeless individuals are provided with permanent housing through the Housing First Approach, the success rate for people staying stably housed is in the 80 to 90 per cent range. Also, there are often a combination of factors that lead to first becoming homeless, such as family breakdown, abuse, trauma, disability, addictions, illness and poverty. Being homeless is unsafe and those who experience chronic homelessness are vulnerable. There are many stresses and difficulties associated with becoming and remaining homeless. Chronically homeless or "street-entrenched" individuals adapt to homelessness and can appear to be making a choice to remain homeless.
Myth: Many homeless people are criminals
Fact: Surveys indicate that roughly half of all those who are homeless have been victims of crime. Because homelessness individuals live exposed on the streets, they can be many times more at risk of crime than the general population.
Myth: Homelessness is a hopeless issue; there is nothing we can do about it.
Fact: It takes three things to end homelessness:
Myth: When you work from a “harm reduction” or "minimum barriers" approach, it’s just “enabling” people.
Harm reduction is used every day throughout society. One example is its use in addressing and preventing motor vehicle accidents. Accidents and deaths due to motor vehicles are well known. Instead of banning the use of motor vehicles our society seeks to make the use of them as safe as possible using a number of harm reduction techniques such as enforcing limits on speed, the use of seatbelts, no use of cell phones or driving under the influence. Harm reduction acknowledges that sometime people engage in activities that are not entirely safe and recognizes that telling them to “stop” is not effective and often drives the behavior underground making it even more unsafe. The purpose of harm reduction is to provide non-judgmental support to people engaging in potentially risky activities, offering scientific and research-based information on how to stay as safe as possible in those activities, while ensuring they also have access to information on reducing or eliminating the risky behaviours should they choose this option at a later date.