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Written by Dr. Victoria Lee, Vice President, Population and Public Health

Fraser Health will work in partnership with BC Housing and Lookout Housing and Health Society to support modular housing tenants in Surrey who have severe substance use disorders.

Last week we announced that Surrey is getting an Intensive Case Management (ICM) team. This team was part of an announcement by the British Columbia government, the City of Surrey and Fraser Health for three modular housing projects in Surrey that will bring much-needed supportive housing for people who have been living on 135A Street.

We will work in partnership with BC Housing and Lookout Housing and Health Society to support modular housing tenants who have severe substance use disorders with an ICM team. ICM teams are an important part of Fraser Health’s multi-faceted strategy to address the overdose emergency in the region. Surrey’s team will build on the success of other services in the community and of ICM teams in Maple Ridge and Langley.

On January 11, the government also announced modular housing units in Maple Ridge and, as a result, the ICM team in that community will expand their focus to also provide support if needed to the individuals who will live there.

The challenges faced by people who are homeless, substance dependent and who may have other general and mental health issues and other needs are very complex. Our goal is to support people struggling with severe substance-related disorders to stabilize their lives through a “housing first” approach. From there we support them to reduce harms associated with severe substance use, help them engage in treatment and address their general health and social needs.

With the support of an ICM team, we’ve seen improvements in patients’ quality of life and overall health status by connecting them with housing, harm reduction and treatment services, and health care practitioners for ongoing treatment and support. Connecting individuals to the broader social and community supports is integral to the success of our teams.

Planning is currently underway for Surrey’s team and they will start serving clients later this year.

Read the full news release.

Learn more about Intensive Case Management services.

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