Brentwood Community Resource Centre
Brentwood is one of the fastest growing and most diverse communities in the lower mainland. The Brentwood Community Resource Centre is a gathering place where people of all ages and backgrounds are empowered to reach their full potential.
To ensure the diverse needs of the community are met, Burnaby Community Services, MOSAIC Settlement Services, Burnaby Meals on Wheels, and Burnaby Seniors Outreach work together in this shared space to provide an array of programs.
Located in the heart of Burnaby, the Brentwood Community Resource Centre will provide support and resources to meet the diverse needs of the community. We offer programs for individuals, families, seniors and newcomers, such as:
- Baby and me programs
- Drop-in playtime for families with young children
- Recreation Credit to use Parks and Rec. facilities
- Transportation assistance for seniors
- English as an additional language classes
- Conversation clubs
- Meal delivery service
- Community kitchens
- Food Skills for Families
- Citizenship preparations
- Legal advice clinics
- Document and Income Tax preparation
- Subsidies to help send kids to summer camp
- Support for families and seniors during the Christmas Season
- Various social, multi-cultural and intergenerational events
- Book swap library
- Community Resource Publications
Voices of Burnaby Seniors
Voices of Burnaby Seniors (VOBS), hosted by Burnaby Community Services, is a group of seniors (55+) who are committed to enhance the lives of Burnaby seniors by:
- Improving access to information
- Raising awareness about seniors' needs
- Increasing connections and contact between individuals and service providers who can help address those needs, and
- Developing or supporting projects to address challenges to seniors' ability to live independently.
The goal of VOBS is to make efforts to support all Burnaby seniors in being healthy, independent and connected members of our community. VOBS is led and informed by community seniors working with the City of Burnaby and community, government and service provider organizations to support Burnaby in being an age-friendly community.
VOBS meetings are held a minimum of six times a year, usually in January, March, May, June, October and November. Voting members must be seniors (55+ years of age) who have attended a minimum of three meetings in twelve months. Anyone is welcome to come as a guest and participate in projects/activities.
In 2007, VOBS completed a comprehensive needs survey about Burnaby seniors' needs and preferences regarding housing, transportation, support services and social connections.
With those findings in mind, VOBS initiated forums, presentations and formation of effective working groups to address issues identified in the needs survey.
Advocacy work has addressed healthcare, veterans' services, TaxiSaver, HandyDART, B.C Ombudsperson's Recommendations, flu clinics, B.C. Seniors' Guide and sector funding losses.
Completed Activities and Projects
- Burnaby Seniors' Needs Survey: In 2006 VOBS, with funding from the federal New Horizons for Seniors Program, surveyed over six hundred Burnaby seniors about their needs with regard to housing, transportation, support services, healthy living and social connections. The results are in a report called "Voices of Burnaby Seniors - A Survey of Burnaby Citizens 55 years and Older." The report can be found at www.bbyservices.ca. This information has formed a basis for VOBS and other organizations in their efforts to meet the needs of seniors in Burnaby.
- VOBS Community Resource Cards: In partnership with Burnaby Community Services (formerly Burnaby Community Connections), we have developed Community Resource Cards for seniors. These are distributed by the Outreach Worker, the Ambassadors, VOBS members and people who work with seniors. The cards provide contact information for many community resources and are available in English, Chinese, Punjabi and Japanese.
- Seniors Ambassador Program: With United Way Funding and in partnership with Burnaby Neighborhood House (formerly South Burnaby Neighborhood House), VOBS developed a Seniors Outreach Worker and Senior Outreach Ambassador Program. Ambassadors work to connect isolated or at risk seniors with services and programs. The Ambassadors are volunteers, among whom approximately fifteen languages are spoken.
- Door-2-Door (D2D) Bus Business Plan
- TravelSmart for Seniors Transit Training Program: VOBS worked with TransLink to develop and deliver a program called Travel Smart for Seniors. Developed to assist seniors who are not familiar with TransLink (buses, Skytrain and Seabus), it was designed to help them feel capable, safe and confident when using the transit system. Trained seniors presented the sessions.
- Agency Networking Events: Hundreds of Burnaby seniors have participated in our educational events on a variety of topics related to transportation, health, safety and financial security. These workshops help alert and advise seniors about issues that affect them.
- Safety Superheroes Fall Prevention: VOBS members worked with Burnaby Fall Prevention Society's "Safe for Seniors, Safe for All"project, a partnership with Fraser Health Authority and the Burnaby School District, funded by the Federal New Horizons for Seniors Program. Using "Safety Superheroes" materials provided by Fraser Health, trained senior volunteers presented the program in 62 classrooms at nine Burnaby elementary schools, teaching 1300 students fall prevention strategies to use at home, i.e., to "fall-proof" their homes for the safety of the seniors who live or visit there.
- Burnaby Better at Home Community Development
- Burnaby Seniors Dialogues
- Pedestrian Audits: With funding from the Union of B.C. Municipalities, VOBS and the City of Burnaby undertook a Pedestrian Audits of the Edmonds shopping area, a part of the city with a significant population of seniors and people with mobility challenges and Cascade Heights as well, working with senior students from Cascade Heights Elementary School.The "auditors" (seniors and others with mobility issues and City Planning staff) noted such factors as uneven pavement, presence and condition of sidewalks, timing of lights, presence of benches, location and condition of bus shelters, lighting, etc. This audit information will be used by the City's Planning Department. Members recently participated in an audit of Cascade Heights as well, working with senior students from Cascade Heights Elementary School.
These are but a few of the initiatives we have undertaken during the twelve years of our existence.
The Society to End Homelessness in Burnaby
The Task Force, hosted by Burnaby Community Services, provides support services to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Activities include building community awareness, sharing information, delivering/supporting outreach programs, and advocating for housing options.
Burnaby Community Services is proud to partner with The Society to End Homelessness on an annual basis to host the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser which raises awareness and funds to assist those who are hungry, hurting and homeless in Burnaby.