Who Started ICCS?

The society was started in 1985 by Matthew Brown and another man*. Other early members included Phill Dockerill, Mike Nix, Barry G. Low, Steven Roper and Terrance Totzke.

*The founding member who started the organization with Matthew Brown has requested that his name be withheld.

Why Was ICCS Started?

In 1984 the two founding members*, who were working for the Salvation Army, realized that there was a need for emergency and temporary housing that was not being met by existing Salvation Army programs. Since a solution remained beyond the capabilities or mandate of the local Salvation Army at that time, they felt called by God to step out in faith and provide shelter for those they saw in need.

* The founding member who started the organization with Matthew Brown has requested that his name be withheld.

Is ICCS part of Salvation Army?

No. Island Crisis Care Society works in cooperation with many community agencies, including the Salvation Army, but we are not part of that organization.

Does ICCS have Church affliations?

Island Crisis Care Society is an independent entity with members from a broad spectrum of denominations. ICCS is interested in working with any Christian denomination or group that wishes to help us in our work with those in need.

What does ICCS do?

Since our Mission is to provide shelter and care for those in need our efforts have been focused around housing. We offer emergency temporary shelter at Samaritan House and have tried several different models for transitional housing. Our most successful model has been crisis stabilization housing. This form of housing offers safe, dependable, short term shelter under the supervision of the society and often with in-servicing from professional health care workers. It is designed primarily for individuals who need support and help, for a period of time, to stabilize their lives and learn new skills that will enable them to become independent again. Crescent House, Hirst House, and Safe Harbour House are based on this model.

Where does ICCS get its funding?

ICCS receives funding from a variety of governmental agencies and from donations and grants from individuals, churches, and other organizations. Currently we hold contracts to provide emergency shelter services with BC Housing; and crisis stabilization services with the Vancouver Island Health Authority. We recently received grants from Service Canada and the City of Nanaimo. Donations are gratefully received and can be made by visiting our donation page. In the fall of 2013 we received $7,500.00 from Mid Island Co-op to furnish Mary’s Place and $7,000.00 from United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island to provide outreach services through the Samaritan House Pilot Project.

How many people are homeless in Nanaimo?

The Vancouver Island Health Authority estimated the average number of actual homeless individuals in 2008 in Nanaimo to be around 300. Individuals in this group include people who move from place to place in search of affordable housing as well as those physically residing out of doors for periods of time. City of Nanaimo figures show that 55% of tenants in Nanaimo spend more than 30% of their income on rent, while 2,855 households are reported to be spending more than 50% of their income on shelter. This fact drives many to seek other accommodations such as couch surfing, rooming houses and substandard accommodation.

Who is homeless?

Studies on housing needs in Nanaimo (1999), and our experience dealing with clients, confirm that certain segments of the population are most at risk of becoming homeless. They are:

  • People suffering with addictions
  • People living with mental illness, developmental challenges, and other medical or physical conditions which limit their adaptability or capacity for change or preclude them from opportunities for success
  • Youth
  • Low income singles
  • Women (including those engaged in the sex trade, single mothers, women leaving abusive situations, and seniors)
  • Aboriginal people

Can women with children or youths stay at Samaritan House?

Samaritan House can accommodate women with children; and youths. Special permission must be obtained from the Ministry of Children and Family Development in order for youth and children to reside at the shelter, and such requests are usually given.

Can my church support ICCS?

Absolutely. We see ourselves as partners with churches in providing care to all, regardless of race, creed, nationality, sex or age. We are always looking for areas not already being addressed by some other group and work diligently to be wise stewards with all gifts we receive. Your church can donate financially or provide much needed prayer support for our clients, employees, and leadership team.

How do I become a member?

Since our services are designed to work with and compliment existing church programs and cover areas of need not already addressed, we actively seek individual Christians and Christian churches to join us in our efforts to promote a caring society through measurable acts of Christian love. If you agree with our Vision and Mission and feel led to be involved in our ministry you can become a member of our society by filling in our membership form (see the volunteer resource page for a link) or by obtaining a membership form from ICCS Administration (778)-441-4227. By being a member you agree to lend your prayer support to our efforts, and have an opportunity to vote on important society decisions. As a member you will receive periodic information via our newsletter and other e-networking services. If you have questions about the society that are not covered in this “Frequently Asked Questions” section, please contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Even if you do not wish to become a member of our society you can offer real assistance by contributing your prayers and financial gifts.