On the road with medical and recovery professionals
The need to reach out and help people where they are at – including those living on the street – is huge. In 2010, NightShift Street Ministries launched our Care Bus to provide street-level nursing and counselling to vulnerable people in our community struggling with homelessness, poverty, addictions and mental illness. This community often faces insurmountable barriers to accessing basic health care.
Today, the number of people living in poverty, suffering with addictions and mental health illnesses, has increased. We are seeing more opiate overdoses and desperation than ever before during the COVID-19 crisis. It is time to roll out a brand new approach to help alleviate the suffering of our friends on the street.
The Mobile Outreach Unit (MOU)
The Mobile Outreach Unit is just that – a vehicle designed to deliver outreach care to people in need in a variety of locations. This newly fabricated bus features two patient rooms, and an outreach space for clothing, care kits and more.
By offering free basic nursing and counselling from our MOU, along with outreach services, NightShift continues to remove barriers and bring dignity, health care and recovery options to people who need it most.
The MOU launches in March 2021, and will be in service on Mondays in Langley and Fridays in Surrey from 7-8:30 pm. All services are provided for free by volunteer nurses, counsellors, bus drivers and outreach team members.
“Bind up the broken-hearted…and set captives free.” Isaiah 61
The MOU’s counselling focus is primarily crisis intervention and community referrals. Individuals requesting more in-depth or longer-term counselling are referred to counsellors at NightShift’s The Care Centre and offered a sliding-scale rate.
Professional nurses provide basic care (assessing vital signs; obtaining medical history from the patient; administering wound care); distribute vitamins, meal replacement drinks and bars; educate patients about health and nutrition; and make referrals to the hospital or other healthcare facilities if further care is necessary.
The MOU is also a way to provide information on resources and other resources for our street friends. In addition to our own drop-in services, from time-to-time we partner with service providers who offer free hearing or eye tests and more.
Clothing, care kits and other basic necessities will be handed out to people in need by volunteers in the outreach area of the MOU. Prayer needs may also be met there.