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Family Services of Greater Vancouver’s Money Navigator: Answering the call for help

16 December 2020
Author: Wendy Abbott-Serroul
Vancouver, like many cities across Canada is experiencing high rental rates and low apartment vacancies making it exceptionally challenging to find affordable housing. For those who now find themselves unemployed, the situation is even more precarious. Jennifer*, a Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV) coaching client, found herself facing financial difficulties and the real risk of becoming homeless, she reached out to the free C19 Money Navigator service for help. 
 
FSGV works to inspire and support those in their community who need help to reach their full potential. They are one of five national Financial Empowerment Champions that Prosper Canada has partnered with to help improve the financial well-being of Canadians living on low incomes.  
 
FSGV’s free C19 Money Navigator provides multilingual support and their navigators and coaches help to connect with benefits and financial supports they qualify for.  They also offer one-on-one RESP and RDSP support along with financial workshops. They were able to help connect Jennifer to benefits and the financial supports she qualified for.  With their assistance, she was able to self-advocate for the Crisis Supplement from income assistance to give her time to sort out her rent issues.  
 
Through FSGV, Jennifer was not only able to find cheaper, more affordable housing, but also with continued coaching sessions, she was connected with a housing outreach service and is now receiving a rent supplement. In addition to starting a new part-time job, Jennifer will also receive help with a people with disabilities application. A call to FSGV was just the beginning of a new chapter for Jennifer. 
 
FSGV offers professional, compassionate counselling and trauma services to individuals, families, children and youth. Their counsellors are professionally trained therapists with graduate degrees in clinical social work and psychology. Through their financial empowerment program in Vancouver and New Westminster, people are supported in their efforts to access government benefits, financial literacy programs and to make the most of their money. They offer over 50 programs, workshops, groups, and one-on-one supports for individuals, families, children, and seniors. 
 
*Note: Name has been changed to protect participant’s identity.  

THE AUTHOR

Wendy Abbott-Serroul is the Senior Marketing and Communications Officer at Prosper Canada. She works closely with the entire organization to identify communications needs and supports the efforts to increase awareness and the profile of Prosper Canada.

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