H.U.G.S. Program

Health Urgent Guide Services for Japanese Canadian Survivors living in the Lower Mainland of B.C.

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What is H.U.G.S.?

H.U.G.S. is a 3-year program funded by the BC Government for Japanese Canadian Internment Survivors in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia impacted by the displacement and internment from March 7, 1941 – April 1, 1949.

It is a short term service that can help Japanese Canadian Internment Survivors navigate their health and wellness needs through government and community programs and private services.

What does H.U.G.S. do?

H.U.G.S. provides a health care and community resource navigation service to eligible Survivors to meet their urgent health and wellness needs.  We guide clients to resources in their area and help them make a plan of action.  We can assist with:

  • Navigating both BC funded and non-funded community resources
  • Planning for health and housing needs
  • Supporting estate planning
  • Guiding clients to groups and services

*One-time limited financial assistance may be available for services not covered by the government.

Who is eligible?

Japanese Canadians living in the Lower Mainland of BC who were born before April 1, 1949, and were impacted by the displacement between March 7, 1941 and April 1, 1949, with an urgent need for short-term guidance or financial support.

How does it work?

You, a family member, or a close friend can submit an application to H.U.G.S.  If accepted, we meet with you alone or with others of your choice, at home, in our office or via zoom.


  • Does H.U.G.S. only provide services for urgent issues? 

No. While we prioritize urgent needs, we assist with any eligible Survivor who has concerns with their general health or future planning.

  • Can a friend or family member complete the application for a Survivor? 

Yes. However, your friend or family member must first have received your permission to fill out and submit the application form on your behalf.  Your signature of consent is required. 

  • Am I eligible for H.U.G.S. if I was born in BC but returned to Japan before March 7, 1941, and was not able to come back until after the war?

Generally, yes. However, your eligibility may depend on the date you returned to Canada and your individual circumstances.

  • I was born in BC, but I was never relocated or interned.  Am I eligible for H.U.G.S.? 

Yes, if other eligibility requirements are met. Please call the H.U.G.S. office for clarification.

  • What does H.U.G.S not do? 

The H.U.G.S. team is not able to assist people with illness issues or emergency medical situations.  Phone 911, go to Emergency at the nearest hospital, or contact your primary care provider.

  • I am still healthy and independent, and I don’t require any help or funding right now. Should I wait until I need help before I apply?

No.  Apply while you feel comfortable making decisions. The H.U.G.S. team will determine whether your health and wellness needs are met and can help make plans and recommendations.  If you are eligible for funding, it can be accessed anytime during our service until June 2026.

  • What can I do with H.U.G.S. funding? 

H.U.G.S. can assist with a service or an item that improves your health and wellbeing. We have provided funding assistance for orthopedic shoes, moving costs, assistive devices, glasses, hearing aids and denture repairs.

  • Are there limitations to H.U.G.S. funding? 

H.U.G.S. is not able to assist with recurring financial costs, such as monthly rent, or on-going long-term health services. If you are uncertain, please phone our office at 604-777-5000, ext. 2109. 

  • Can I get your funding for hearing aids I purchased in December 2022? 

No.  H.U.G.S. does not provide retroactive payments for items purchased before the program started on May 15, 2023. 

  • Is the H.U.G.S. fund the same as the Japanese Canadian Survivors Health and Wellness Fund? 

No. Please visit http://jcwellness.org/ or email [email protected] for information regarding the $650 or $4500 that is available across Canada.

Do you need H.U.G.S.?

Contact H.U.G.S. at

604-777-5000  Ext. 2109   |   [email protected]

Office Hours:

Monday to Friday 9 am ~ 5 pm
(Closed on Statutory holidays)

Meet the H.U.G.S. Team

H.U.G.S. team:
(L-R): Laura Wong, Yvonne Nakano, Shihori Scott-Moncrieff 
Steering committee with H.U.G.S. team:
(L-R): Laura Wong, Ruth Coles, Yvonne Nakano, Marcia Carr, Shihori Scott- Moncieff

H.U.G.S. is established by the Japanese Canadian Legacies Society (JCLS) and operated under Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society.

Seniors Health & Wellness Pillar:
Japanese Canadian Legacies Society (jclegacies.com)
Japanese Canadian Survivors Health & Wellness Fund Society (jcwellness.org)