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In the News


HOB Neighbourhood Thrift Stores and Their Wonderful Volunteers
(Jo-Anne Lauzer, Second Hand Savvy, Sept 27, 2017)

Chances are if you live on the West Side of Vancouver you have likely met one of the many HOB (Hospice Opportunity Boutique) volunteers. Read more


Diva on a Dime: Fashions from the HOB
(Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier, July 2016)

There are consignment stores—and then there are consignment stores. Read more


Nancy Johnson in the Vancouver Sun

For six years, Nancy Johnson worked as a volunteer at the Hospice Opportunity Boutique, helping to raise funds for the Vancouver Hospice Society. One year, she co-chaired the society's gala. The gala raised $500,000.

In 2012, after 10 years of fundraising, the society had enough money to buy a property at 4615 Granville, and then open its six-bed hospice in April, 2014. It's a lovely facility, and it's celebrating its one-year anniversary this week. Nancy's efforts helped make it possible. Read more


Reader Soapbox: Hospice helped deal with tidal wave of grief
Vancouver Hospice Society offers support for the bereaved
(Karen Segal, The Vancouver Courier, April 24, 2014)

Even though I'd known my mother was dying for two years, when she actually passed away, I felt like I was in crisis. Returning to Vancouver from her Christmas Eve funeral in Winnipeg, I was finding it extremely difficult to cope with my grief. A friend who'd lost her father three years earlier had warned me that it would hit like a tidal wave and, alas, it did. I was stunned by the depth of it. It was surreal being at the airport on Christmas Day, having a shop clerk and flight staff wishing me the best of the season.

I very luckily had friends who sat with me while I sobbed, offering tissues and Ativan but not platitudes. And yet I still felt alone, overwhelmed by my reaction. I wasn't eating properly or sleeping very much. Nothing felt real and I couldn't stop thinking about my mother, now dead, now ashes in a niche on the outside wall of a funeral home.

I read voraciously others' stories of grief on blogs and Internet forums, googling "I just lost my mom and I feel like I'm going crazy," more than a few times.

There was no obvious place to turn. Then, a friend in Winnipeg told me that if I lived there, Hospice & Palliative Care Manitoba could offer me a lot of support. Thinking linearly in between crying jags, I found the contact information for Vancouver Hospice Society. I had long thought that hospice only helped people who were imminently dying but it turns out that it also helps those in bereavement. VHS has in-house groups for children, teens, families and adults who have suffered loss as well as one-on-one sessions with an in-house grief counsellor. The hospice also offers palliative support and 24-hour bedside vigil during the last 72 hours of life. Read more


Vancouver Hospice Society Bereavement Walking Program Offers Support, Hope
(Sara Harowitz, The Huffington Post BC, November 17, 2013)

It started with a simple walk, but it became so much more.

As part of the many services offered, the Vancouver Hospice Society runs a weekly Bereavement Walking Program for those who have recently lost a loved one and are craving mutual support. Started in 2005 by volunteers Sue Wong and—full disclosure—my aunt Sharon Harowitz, the walking program allows those left behind to find comfort and comradeship in others who are going through something similar. Read more


Dealing With Death
(Malcolm Perry, Vancouver Sun, October 24, 2013)

A $4.5-million facility at 4615 Granville St. is about to welcome its first six guests, whose stays will average three months. Designed by Rositch Hemphill and Associates, the 10,000-square-foot, six-bed facility was built and will be operated by the Vancouver Hospice Society. That's an organization physiotherapist Sue Hurd and X-ray technician Sue Wong founded in 2003 as a centre for living-care and bereavement programs they and other volunteers were providing. Read more


NEWS RELEASE (Ministry of Health, March 25, 2013)

Action plan, centre for excellence, hospice funding to support end-of-life care

VANCOUVER - Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid today released an action plan to improve access to end-of-life care so people can remain at home and in their community longer and committed funding to establish a centre for excellence in end-of-life care.

"Providing end-of-life care helps people in this stage of life to die with dignity in their home community near family and friends," said MacDiarmid, while visiting the new Vancouver Hospice Society hospice home. "While advances in end-of-life-care have been made in recent years, there are ways we can improve. Our goal is to provide high-quality compassionate, respectful and competent care for all people who are dying and for their families."

The health minister released the action plan at the Vancouver Hospice Society's hospice home where she also announced $950,000 to help complete and equip the new facility. The funding will complete the fundraising needed to construct, equip and operate the home. Read more


Walking groups help you through grief, step by step.
The Globe and Mail did a feature article on the benefits of bereavement walks. (March 7, 2011 by Adriana Barton.)

"They meet Wednesday mornings at The Crab, a hulking metal sculptured fountain near Vancouver's English Bay. One by one, they say the name of a loved one and the date that a parent, spouse, sibling or child passed away. Tears are shed, tissues clutched. Then, side by side, they walk.

The Vancouver Hospice Society's walking group for the bereaved encourages mourners to acknowledge the pain of loss even if they feel pressured to get on with their lives. Therapists are absent from the gathering, so are handouts about the stages of grief." Read more