Michael’s Story – A reason to get out of bed

Michael is a familiar face at Coast Mental Health’s Resource Centre in Downtown Vancouver. He’s been a member for over 10 years. As a trusted member of the Coast community, Michael finds purpose though work. He takes on shifts as a front desk receptionist, and manning the store. The shop sells basic food and hygiene items at minimal cost to Resource Centre members.

“I never had a purpose for getting out of bed. But now I have a purpose to get out of bed and do this and get out the house once in a while” he says.

The Resource Centre Volunteer program allows people to gain vocational skills and experience, and is made possible thanks to the generosity of donors. Volunteer positions are offered in a number of areas including food preparation, janitorial, dishwashing, front desk reception and store receptionist. 


Members receive a stipend for each of these volunteer positions. The wages provide some additional income.

Volunteers also benefit from working in a flexible environment with a team that understands the needs of people living with mental and physical illness.

Michael has Trigeminal Neuralgia, a chronic condition that can result in excruciating pain from even mild stimulation to the face.

“See if I have pain, and I have to go home, and I don’t know when I’ll be back, at least Coast will understand.”

Thanks to your support, the program continues to run with COVID-19 protocols and increased cleaning in place.  We currently have approximately 20 members in various volunteer roles at the Resource Centre.

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Your donation to Coast Mental Health Foundation provides essential housing, support, and employment services for people with mental illness so they can find their meaningful place in our community – a place to live, a place to connect, and a place to work.