Access to hope, access to recovery
Many people living on the streets or on the road to recovery regularly experience obstacles to accessing the services they need in their community. In order to help overcome some of these barriers and provide access to services, NightShift Street Ministries developed The Care Bus. The Care Bus is a mobile RV unit that provides free basic nursing, counselling and prayer ministry for anyone in need of these services.
Where does the Care Bus serve?
The Care Bus is operated by volunteers as part of the NightShift outreach services, coming alongside the food and clothing trucks at the NightShift location in Whally/City Centre. Currently the Care Bus is available on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 7-8:30 pm, and provides access to
- counselling & library services (2nd / 4th Tuesdays)
- basic nursing (Fridays, 1st / 3rd / 5th Tuesdays)
All services on the Care Bus are provided by volunteers: professional counsellors, nurses, and bus drivers, who offer their time so that services are available to our friends on the street free of charge.
Inspiration for the Care Bus
“Bind up the broken-hearted…and set captives free.” Isaiah 61
The RV was donated to NightShift Street Ministries in 2010, and subsequently refurbished and separated into three functional rooms: two for nursing needs and one for counselling. On an average evening, the Care Bus can accommodate six individuals for nursing care and one individual for counselling.
Mobile counselling services and more
The counselling focus on the Care Bus is primarily crisis intervention and community referrals. Individuals requesting more in-depth or longer term counselling are referred to The Care Centre, and offered a sliding-scale rate.
The basic nursing care provided includes:
- Assessing vital signs,
- Obtaining medical history from the patient,
- Wound care,
- Distribution of vitamins, meal replacement drinks and bars,
- Educating patients about health and nutrition,
- Referrals to the hospital if further care is necessary.
We are now able to share over 1,000 donated books through our mobile library services and this is a much-loved addition to our outreach!
Expanding mobile counselling outreach
The greater vision is to bring the Care Bus out more nights on a regular basis and offer additional services. For example, we would like to expand our library services and are actively looking for volunteers to organize the ongoing donations of books and coordinating this service on regular evenings. There is also a need for basic dental care, which we are hoping to introduce. Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering.
Get involved: support the Care Bus to help others
Services on The Care Bus would not be possible without the generous support of many volunteers, donations of nursing supplies, and financial support that pays for the licensing, insurance, fuel and repairs for the RV unit. Please contact us if you would like to partner with us in any of these ways to be part of offering this valuable service.