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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

OK Corral Cabaret owner permanently closes Langley bar

Nightclub showcased local talent, connected friends, and even hosted a wedding during its 34 years

Kelowna’s Rock the Lake officially postponed until 2021

The new dates have been scheduled for August 6-8, 2021

Kelowna man charged with murder of Alberta man

A second man is also wanted in connection with the first degree murder of Cody Michaloski

New ‘smart city’ 5G technology to be installed in Kelowna next week

‘This is an exciting opportunity for Kelowna to build on the work we’re doing to bring smart city technologies to our city’ - Mayor Colin Basran

Kelowna couple pedalling past loss of sight

Pauline and Jim Marshall said it’s important to be patient with each other

Revelstoke resident finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Kids raise $10,000 to feed Kamloops wildlife

Bottle drive initially set out to raise $2,000 to feed the animals at the wildlife park

COLUMN: Plate hate has no place in B.C.

B.C. transplant still drives with red plates, but hopes her car will be safe from COVID hate

Driver damages Shuswap playground after alleged pellet gun shooting

RCMP report vehicle drove through Memorial Park before coming to a stop

POLL: Drinks in the park in Vernon?

City councillor wonders if allowing drinks in public places may help local businesses

Summerland to reopen playgrounds and recreational facilities

Some outdoor spaces will reopen on June 1, but arena and aquatic centre remain closed

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Only 35 per cent of students returning to Vernon schools

Only 30 per cent of secondary students going back June 1 and 50 per cent of elementary

Most Read