As the second city in Canada to adopt Community Voice Mail (CVM), Prince George is now expanding the program to help 500 eligible British Columbians without a telephone gain access to a phone number and voice mail service.
The CVM program, launched in March 2014 by the Prince George Metis Housing Society (PGMHS), is based on a successful Vancouver pilot. The program enables program participants who are living in poverty, crisis and transition to have a personal phone number so they can check their messages when and where they get access to a telephone.
The program helps participants connect with employment as well as other essential community services, allowing them to receive messages from potential employers, housing providers, doctors, schools, legal services and other vital supports.
The Government of British Columbia is supporting the program with a $25,000 contribution through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund. The program is being run on a cost-share basis, with PGMHS seeking funding from a variety of sources to support the CVM program’s annual budget of $88,000.
The CVM program supports the goals of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint by helping to provide the workforce B.C.’s growing economy needs, while creating the opportunity for long-term, well-paying jobs that strengthen our families and communities.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
“Access to basic community services is a key tool in finding employment. Community Voice Mail is a simple yet effective program that helps people connect to opportunity, jobs and a brighter future. It was great to be able to visit the Prince George Metis Housing Society and learn first-hand how the program works.”
Mike Morris, MLA, Mackenzie -
“The Community Voice Mail program addresses a well-known barrier to employment for British Columbians living in poverty throughout the province. We’re pleased to be able to support the Prince George Metis Housing Society with this funding.”
Leo Hebert, executive director, Prince George Metis Housing Society -
“After seeing the Community Voice Mail program work so well in the Lower Mainland, I could see clearly how that service could work in Prince George. This program can make all the difference for people without a fixed address or phone who need employment, housing, healthcare or social services. We are always looking for support from other agencies and organizations to continue this valuable service in northern B.C.”
To find out more on the Prince George Metis Housing Society: www.pgmhs.com/
For more information on B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, visit: www.workbc.ca/skills
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour