Nanaimo Regional General Hospital emergency department clinical nurse leader Val Gfrerer and NRGH emergency department manager Trapper Edison

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital emergency department clinical nurse leader Val Gfrerer and NRGH emergency department manager Trapper Edison

Hospital helps homeless

The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s emergency department delivered backpack care packages at the New Hope Centre last month.

The hospital’s emergency department is extending its care beyond the ER.

The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s emergency department delivered backpack care packages at the New Hope Centre last month as part of the Discharged with Dignity project.

The emergency department team members have been collecting gently used backpacks and filling them with items such as socks, hats, toiletries and community resource information.

“It’s our way to say, ‘we care about you,’” said Trapper Edison, emergency department manager, in an Island Health press release. “I’d like to deliver a bunch of backpacks every month, so people know we are here for them if they need support.”

He said the team’s goal is to give away 250 backpacks by the end of the summer and 500 by the end of the year.

Rob Anderson, the Salvation Arm New Hope Centre’s director of community ministries, said receiving the delivery of backpacks brightened his day.

“We have men who come into our shelter who have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and maybe a plastic bag to put them in,” he said. “So to be able to provide them with something like this – a few things they need and a backpack to put their things in – is amazing.”