Looking for Community Developers

United Way’s Better at Home team is looking for Community Developers to help communities assess their readiness to implement a Better at Home program, identify non-medical home support services, and support the selection of a lead organization.

Following the announcement of the first 18 sites that may eventually host a Better at Home program, Community Developers will conduct community consultations in those sites. If you are interested in conducting community development work with the Better at Home project, please see the Requests for Proposal below.

Please click on the link at each site and this will take you to a PDF document of the relevant Request for Proposal. As the RFPs become available, they will be added as linkable documents below. If the site you are interested in does not yet have a link, please check again soon.

Thank you for your interest in community development work for the Better at Home project.

If you are submitting an RFP: Please disclose any potential conflicts of interest including direct or perceived personal benefit, or benefit to an organization with which you are affiliated. Better at Home program funding decisions will take into account these potential conflicts of interest.

  • Quesnel (Applications closed)
  • Esquimalt (This position has been filled through a partnership with United Way of Greater Victoria)
  • Cowichan (Applications closed)
  • Langley  (Applications closed)
  • New Westminster  (Applications closed)
  • Vancouver (West End)   (Applications closed)
  • Kamloops (This position has been filled through a partnership with United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo.)
  • Sechelt  (Applications closed)
  • Parksville  (Applications closed)
  • Abbotsford  (Applications closed)
  • Tri-Cities  (Applications closed)
  • Surrey  (Applications closed)
  • Richmond  (Applications closed)
  • North Shore  (Applications closed)
  • Penticton  (Applications closed)
  • Port Hardy  (Applications closed)
  • Williams Lake (This position has been filled through a partnership with United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo.)
  • Cranbrook (Applications closed)


The newest sites looking for Community Developers are located here.

United Way announces first 18 sites being considered for its Better at Home program

United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM) today announced the first 18 sites that may eventually be home to a Better at Home program – the ground-breaking initiative to provide seniors with support services that will allow them to remain in their own homes longer. Over the next year, a total of about 60 Better at Home sites are expected to be announced across the province.

As part of Improving Care for B.C. Seniors: An Action Plan, the B.C. Government provided the United Way with $15 million to establish Better at Home, a program that offers simple services such as housekeeping, grocery shopping, friendly visits, yard work, home repair, snow removal and transportation to appointments. The services are non-medical in nature, and are supplemental to those services provided by community health workers, such as personal hygiene assistance and help with medical needs or moving around.

Michael McKnight, President and CEO of UWLM, said Better at Home is based on a successful pilot project that United Way carried out in five B.C. communities in partnership with the Ministry of Health and local non-profit agencies.

“We know that most seniors, if given the choice, would prefer to live independently as long as they can in their own homes, among friends and neighbors,” he said. “This program allows that opportunity for seniors who are healthy overall, but require modest help with a few tasks. We want to prevent isolation and loneliness, especially among those who are most vulnerable, while helping seniors maintain their quality of life.”

Minister of Health Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid said the initiative is a key part of its Seniors Action Plan to respond to the needs of seniors and an aging population in B.C.

“Today’s announcement of the 18 communities builds on our commitment to support healthy aging and help B.C. seniors remain independent for as long as possible,” said Dr. MacDiarmid. “Partnering with United Way of the Lower Mainland allows government to take advantage of their knowledge and expertise to help keep seniors in their own homes because that is where they want to be.”

Community consultation will start to get underway in the 18 sites after Thanksgiving and carry on through the fall and winter, with some communities expected to offer services to seniors as early as January. The balance of the approximately 60 sites will undergo consultation, program development and implementation on a rolling basis.

The eventual establishment of a Better at Home program in each community depends upon the community itself wanting to participate and a non-profit agency stepping forward to lead the development and delivery of services. The selection of potential communities was based on demographics, local conditions, and consultation with provincial health authorities, regional United Ways and local agencies serving seniors.

McKnight said seniors are front and centre in the process, and help determine the services that best meet their needs in their community. The local agency creates the operational structure to register seniors and offer the services, which will be delivered primarily by a network of volunteers. Fees for services will be based on an ability to pay and local market conditions, and in some cases will be offered free of charge.

Ralph Sultan, Minister of State for Seniors, said the Better at Home program concept is something that seniors themselves warmly welcome. He added that it offers promise for helping to avoid the high financial and human cost of entering institutional care before it is required.

“Helping seniors stay in their home benefits seniors and their families as well as the health system,” said Sultan. “The key here is that the program focuses on non-medical home support – such as transportation, housekeeping, home repair, yard maintenance, friendly visiting, and information and referrals.”

The first 18 sites identified for a potential Better at Home program are:

  • Quesnel
  • Esquimalt
  • Cowichan
  • Langley
  • New Westminster
  • Vancouver (West End)
  • Kamloops
  • Sechelt
  • Parksville
  • Abbotsford
  • Tri-Cities
  • Surrey
  • Richmond
  • North Shore
  • Penticton
  • Port Hardy
  • Williams Lake
  • Cranbrook

Introducing the Better at Home Provincial Team

United Way of the Lower Mainland has assembled a Provincial Team for the Better at Home project to support the expansion of community-based non-medical home support programs across BC over the next three years.

The Provincial Team and United Way are designing the Better at Home program, ensuring community consultation, developing effective models for program delivery with participating non-profit agencies, supporting the program’s implementation, and conducting evaluations. With support from the United Way and various key provincial stakeholders, the Provincial Team is working to consult with regional experts to select sites which will benefit greatly from a Better at Home program.

We are proud to announce the Better at Home Provincial Team, who have a range of experience to make this project a success.

Better at Home Provincial Project Manager Christien Kaaij is an experienced community developer and has managed various projects in BC and the Netherlands. For example, she developed a homelessness strategy in Powell River, coordinated the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Dialogue initiative in Sechelt, and managed the development of a large-scale residential project for seniors, including non-medical home support services in the Netherlands.

Jody Olsson, Field Coordinator with Better at Home, came to us from Vancouver Coastal Health where she led the partnership between the Vancouver Coast Health Tobacco Reduction department and the Aboriginal Health Strategic Initiatives department. She has experience working as a community developer with seniors, particularly urban Aboriginal Elders, and as well as being responsible for the Mental Health portfolio with the First Nations Health Council.

Our other field coordinator, Eirikka Brandson, has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including five years working with seniors in a nursing home. She worked as the Community Wellness Manager for a local First Nation community, has supported numerous health research projects, and managed a health and sport program in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Grant and Data Coordinator Cheryn Wong comes to us from United Way’s Success By 6 Provincial initiative where she has worked to support a provincial network of community developers. Cheryn will coordinate the granting, ensure quality data and information management, and facilitate learning integration and knowledge mobilization amongst the many people involved in Better at Home. Cheryn is currently involved in a number of community engagement initiatives in Vancouver.

Debbie Sharp handles Program Support and Communications. She has a wealth of experience supporting multi-site projects. Debbie has maintained resource libraries, managed web-based communications, and coordinated communications in local and international programs as far afield as the U.S., Japan and South Africa.

We look forward to working with partners across BC to help seniors remain independent.


Photo credit: Lani Johnson