Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, announced an investment of $25,000 today to support the Community Voice Mail Program in the Prince George-region, which will help vulnerable populations who do not have access to a personal phone connect with employers and have access to community services.
The Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George (AHSPG) will receive the funding from the B.C. government to deliver the program in 2017-18 to up to 300 clients each year. Bond met with AHSPG and various community organizations and heard about the program’s positive impact on clients.
The goal of the Community Voice Mail Program is to provide a reliable method of communication to participants who are living in poverty, crisis and transition, so they can stay in touch with local employers, training providers, employment and housing service agencies, as well as health-care providers.
Through this program, users can access information on child care, relocation, Employment Insurance, targeted wage subsidy, apprenticeship and transportation services. They also receive a weekly broadcast on the latest job fairs, training opportunities and other community services.
The Community Voice Mail program not only helps clients enter the workforce and become self-sufficient in the future, it also helps employers in Northern B.C. recruit workers to meet their labour needs.
In addition to support from the Province of B.C., this project is funded in part by: the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy; United Way of Northern BC; Community Partners Addressing Homelessness; the City of Prince George; Aboriginal Health-Northern Health; and First Nations Health Authority. Urban Aboriginal Working Group, the Prince George Community Foundation and TransCanada Pipeline Ltd. have also contributed to the program.
The Community Voice Mail program supports B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. It is an example of how the Province is working with local service providers to remove employment barriers and help more British Columbians pursue jobs in B.C.’s growing economy.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, and MLA for Prince George-Valemount –
“Having the ability to receive messages and communicate with prospective employers, health-care providers and others is essential in the world we live in today. Thank you to Kay Robinson and her team for the passion and vision that created this program.”
Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie –
“Not having access to secure, personal phone services is a significant barrier for unemployed and vulnerable people in our community. The Community Voice Mail Program removes this barrier for users, so they can stay informed of opportunities for jobs, housing and other services. I’m thrilled that the government is supporting this important program to help our vulnerable populations in Northern B.C.”
Kay Robinson, coordinator, Community Voice Mail Program, Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George –
“The Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George provides over 150 housing units in Prince George and is the host agency for the Community Voice Mail.
“The happiness in the voices of people when they get a job, training, or a home, while using this program is indescribable. Joy, pride and sense of accomplishment are just a few of the positive emotions that they feel when they check their messages that they would not have received, if they did not have the Community Voice Mail. The funders, past and present, have helped to make this possible. Together, we have taken down one more barrier.”
Joe, client, Community Voice Mail Program –
“I took advantage of the Community Voice Mail program and I got a job and I got training and I’m so grateful for this program, because now I’m independent, so I want to say thank you to the Community Voice Mail Program.”
- Since 2014, the Community Voice Mail program has served 402 clients.
- The majority of people who access the program have registered for it at employment centres. Of the total number of clients served, 149 self-identified as homeless.
To learn more about the Community Voice Mail Program, visit: http://ahspg.ca/community-voice-mail/
Video on Community Voice Mail Program: http://ow.ly/QdmK3096Lqi