Thompson Rivers University third-year nursing students Mai Hayashi and Tracey Beharrell (missing, Mary Agu) are working with the Shuswap Family Centre on a project to build relationships with, and raise awareness of, the homeless people in the Shuswap. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

B.C. nursing students express passion for helping the homeless

The need for an outreach worker is near the top of their wish list

Three university students from Kamloops with a passion for helping the homeless are bringing their support to Salmon Arm.

As part of their practicum, Tracey Beharrell, Mai Hayashi and Mary Agu, third-year nursing students at Thompson Rivers University, are doing a community project in conjunction with the Shuswap Family Centre entitled Building Hope within a Resilient Community. They say their goal is to build a relationship with, and raise awareness of, the homeless population in the city.

“We’re here mostly because Tracey is passionate,” said Hayashi. “She volunteers with the homeless population in Kamloops. I studied about marginalized populations and worked with the homeless population at Vancouver Coastal Health as a volunteer. I worked with them in Japan too.”

Hayashi said there are “tons” of homeless people in Japan, but they’re hidden because they’re ashamed.

“It was kind of a shock when I first came here,” she said. “We’re less progressive about the issue.”

Related: B.C.’s homeless, vulnerable only receive adequate care when nearing death: study

The young women emphasize there is not just one reason people end up homeless – factors might include childhood trauma, addiction, mental illness and more.

Related: Stories unite Canadians on homelessness action: UBC study

Through their project the students hope to receive donations of money and food/clothing/supplies to support those who are homeless. Receipts will be given for donations over $10. Items they’d welcome include back packs, toothpaste and toothbrushes, warm leggings, feminine products, thermal shirts and water bottles.

They realize these are short-term solutions, and also want to support steps that make a long-term difference.

“People living rough are very resilient people and very resourceful in how they survive day to day,” said Beharrell. “We’re looking to increase awareness of the resilient homeless population, but also looking at avenues to meet basic needs such as shelter – and an outreach worker.”

The students also said they’ll be watching out for frostbite, a big concern recently.

To connect with the students and their project, email beharrelt10@mytru.ca.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Registration is open for the Okanagan’s largest outdoor cycling class

The 13th annual YMCA of Okanagan Cycle for Strong Kids event will take place on May 26

UPDATE: Truck dumped on embankment near Big White

The truck was allegedly reported stolen from Kelowna

Car crashes into semi-truck in West Kelowna

Highway 97 heading northbound by Boucherie Rd. closed

VegFest drops Okanagan Ice Pops as sponsor

Controversy stirs over a bacon-chocolate flavoured popsicle

Semi-annual Trunk Sale returns Saturday

Regional District Waste Reduction Office hosts semi-annual Trunk Sale

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Black bear spotted near Salmon Arm elementary school

The bear was sighted at around 4 p.m. after school was out

Multiple black bear sightings in residential area near Okanagan elementary

Pictures of the bear have been posted on the Armstrong Community Forum frequently

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read