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News Release: COVID-19 Response Initiative Connects Unemployed Workers with Housing Providers Needing Additional Support


For Immediate Release:

COVID-19 Response Initiative Connects Unemployed Workers with Housing Providers Needing Additional Support

Matchmaking website aims to help connect those impacted by unprecedented COVID-19 job loss with non-profit housing providers experiencing  labour shortages

VANCOUVER, B.C. (April 14, 2020) – With more than 130-thousand British Columbians out of work as of the end of March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a coalition of community housing organizations has launched a new website,, to connect those in need of work with non-profit housing and shelter providers that are in need of workers.

The website, which will be operated by the B.C. Non Profit Housing Association and was developed with the support of Vancity Credit Union and Catalyst Community Developments Society, will provide a matchmaker-type service allowing people looking for work – even on a temporary or short-term basis – to submit their contact information and areas of skill or experience. Housing and shelter providers will be able to submit their information and labour needs to the site and be matched up with potential workers who meet their specific criteria.

“It has been devastating to watch as the COVID-19 global health pandemic impacts so many people in communities across the province,” said Jill Atkey, CEO of the B.C. Non Profit Housing Association. “These job losses come at the same time as non-profit housing and shelter providers are experiencing significant short and long-term shortages of qualified staff who are providing essential services.”

There are many jobs in the non-profit housing sector that require the transferable skills of those who normally work in the hospitality industry as well as other customer service or people focused roles. Out-of-work restaurant and hotel employees, including those working in food service, meal preparation, cleaning or housekeeping, can find extremely rewarding careers in the non-profit housing sector.

“This platform has the potential to influence the future career path for many service-based workers, inspiring them to remain in the community housing sector as a result of the connections they make here,” said Kira Gerwing, Manager, Community Investment with Vancity Credit Union.

In addition to hospitality sector workers, other in-demand housing sector job needs include people with trades or light electrical, carpentry, or plumbing skills, LPN’s or Registered Nurses, accounting or bookkeeping professionals, property managers, and even landscapers. Workplaces can include a range of housing facilities from temporary shelters to long-term affordable housing neighbourhoods geared towards families and seniors. These roles could also be ideal for those out of work from civic governments or large employers such as B.C. Ferries.

“You are making a difference in these roles,” said Liz Barnett of the Bloom Group Community Services Society. “It’s challenging work, but no day is the same and each and every time you are on the job you know you’ve changed the world for those who are vulnerable.”

Although the website will facilitate job seeker information to be passed to potential employers, it is important to note that it will be up to individual employers to make their own hiring decisions and come to employment agreements with prospective workers.

To learn more about the Housing Job Match initiative, please visit

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For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Dean Pogas, BC Non-Profit Housing Association


Danielle Palfery, Hill + Knowlton Strategies (for the BC Non-Profit Housing Association)


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