Community Residential Facility Dick Bell-Irving CRF

Community Residential Facilities

Community Residential Facilities (CRFs), which are also known as halfway houses, are one of the most critical elements of the criminal justice process, and an invaluable contributor to public safety. CRFs provide an offender the opportunity to rebuild themselves in their preferred destination with skilled support, resources, and supervision until they reintegrate back into the community.  This approach is far more effective than having an individual serve their sentence and be released to a community with no support or supervision, broken ties to employment, accommodation, family and friends. 


Dick Bell-Irving Community Residential Facility


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Working in partnership with the Correctional Services of Canada, BC Borstal Association owns and operates Dick Bell-Irving Community Residential Facility (CRF). Dick Bell-Irving CRF houses 15 adult men who are on conditional release and reintegrating back into the community.  Our residence is an incredibly valuable resource to these individuals as we offer support and services that allow our residents to gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to successfully reintegrate into the community. We operate from a trauma-informed perspective and address the root cause of the behaviour(s) that lead to criminal activity. We give individuals a second chance to become productive members of society.


Dick Bell-Irving CRF is located in the South Cambie Neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC and is ideally located, being close to community and commercial resources and rapid transit.  Dick Bell-Irving is a three storey residence, providing five single rooms and five double rooms.  The resource is staffed 24x7 providing safety, security and support to the residents.  The goal of our CRF is to assist offenders with their reintegration into the community while treating the root cause(s) that led them to their offense.  We reach this goal by providing residents with a safe, peaceful, stable living environment, as well as providing programs and services to support personal growth and development.  Of course, public safety is paramount and our home provides continued risk assessment and management for all persons on conditional release. ​


Referral Process

  1. All referrals are made through the Institutional Parole Office with a request to be screened for Metro Vancouver West Community Corrections Office.

  2. The Manager of Dick Bell-Irving CRF screens all referrals to ensure that they meet the minimum criteria for acceptance including: being a minimal risk to the safety of other residents and staff, himself, family, his victim, the immediate neighbourhood, and the community at large. Dick Bell-Irving CRF does not accept individuals with offenses of a sexual nature. It also does not accept individuals with active links to organized crime. Individuals who have been linked to organized crime must be inactive from any association to organized crime groups for at least 10 years in order to be screened for residency.

What makes us unique?

  • We operate from a trauma-informed approach

  • Onsite Clinical Trauma/Addiction Counsellor

  • Onsite full-time Program Coordinator responsible for case work with clients requiring enhanced supervision, client outreach, program support and assessment of client's reintegration needs

  • Onsite full-time caseworker who works with residents

  • We partner with various agencies, service providers, and CRF’s to support clients needs

  • We have a structured Departure Program to support the best possible reintegration strategy


Clinical Counselling & Trauma Care

BC Borstal Association remains proactive in addressing barriers to personal success, including the impacts of trauma. We recognize that the experience of trauma can have a significant impact on a person’s natural development and that trauma underlies many mental health and substance use issues including negative behaviours. Many people view trauma as the outcome of a major harrowing event. In fact, trauma is much more complex. Trauma has as many causes as it does forms - from neglect to family dysfunction; exposure to war; emotional/physical and/or sexual abuse; a survivor or witness to a violent crime; a horrific car accident; or prison. For most, these events will serve to reshape the person's future, and can impact everything from relationships - to work - to one's health. Trauma therapy and support will allow a person to regain control of the traumatic event(s); to build resiliency; and reclaim those parts of their lives that trauma has touched. We operate from a trauma-informed model of care and residents of Dick Bell-Irving CRF have access to an onsite Registered Counsellor specializing in Trauma and Addiction.

Wellness Program

At Dick Bell-Irving, we understand that wellness is a process of making decisions that support a balanced lifestyle and reconnection with the community. We offer ongoing programs and activities that focus on all areas of the Wellness Wheel (emotional, physical, environmental, intellectual, occupational, social/cultural, spiritual, and correctional). Our goal is to support reintegration by assisting our residents to achieve fulfillment in all aspects of their life through wellness and balance.  We believe that healing and recovery is fostered by growth in all the areas that make us whole.  Our program provides continuous opportunities for applied learning and personal growth in experiential ways.



In order to provide our residents with access to a diverse range of services, we partner with various agencies, service providers, and CRF’s. Our partnership with St. Leonard’s CRF allows residents to partake in their well-known 12-step substance abuse program. For our Indigenous residents, we are pleased to offer access to services and events at the Naa-na-himyis Brothers Healing Lodge. 


We are happy to announce that this year BC Borstal was able to secure a partnership with the Greater Vancouver Foodbank. The foodbank offers weekly donations that support feeding our 15 residents at Dick Bell-Irving Community Residential Facility.  Our partnership with the GVFB has had a profound, positive impact on the quality and quantity of food options available to our residents. #Vanfoodbank #GVFBcap

Departure Program

The departure program begins right at intake. We ensure residents are ready for reintegration by getting their fundamental needs in order such as obtaining necessary identification, setting up medical and dental coverage, assisting with tax filing, setting up a bank account, and helping with resumes and seeking employment or some form of assistance. Once residents have all of these items in place, we then work with residents to find suitable housing. Our program offers a structured and systematic approach to housing that prepares an individual for their next step into the community.

Annual Awards

Each year BC Borstal Association presents three awards to recognize individuals who have exhibited exemplary characteristics that reinforce the mission, vision, and values of BC Borstal Association.


Canuel Awards

  • Award for Community Crime Prevention Excellence

  • Award for Merit for Community Crime Prevention

More about Canuel Awards Recipients

Rocksborough Smith Award

  • Award for Personal Development provides recognition to a resident or past resident of Dick Bell-Irving CRF who has exhibited a commitment to personal growth, and a life free of crime.

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Borstal Association

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