Some of our Guests are talented people who have never been able to express those talents due to their life’s circumstances. Many want to learn – to read, to write, to do something more with their lives. And we try to nurture that as much as possible to help them see their worth, and what they can contribute.
For our Guests, basic reading comprehension can mean the difference between finding a decent place to rest at night and sleeping on the streets. We have a dedicated classroom setting for four hours a day, five days a week. Many volunteers, including teachers, work with our Guests to improve their literacy, develop resumes, and even prepare them for their GED. The enthusiasm shown by our Guests is truly inspiring.
In this day and age, it is virtually impossible to take advantage of personal development programs and access information on housing, hot meals, food bank schedules, addresses, bus routes and job banks without having access to the Internet. We have a computer room with stations available to Guests, with support volunteers on hand for assistance.
Art is Therapy
It is amazing what people can create when given the tools and the chance. Our Therapeutic Arts program gives our Guests the opportunity to express themselves in our music room, in our arts and crafts room, and in our workshop. Creativity promotes their mental health, independence, and personal pride – and that goes a long way in helping them regain control of their lives.
Most of our Guests have been in the system for so long, they have forgotten what it feels like to earn an income. In January 2017, we launched the first phase of our Social Enterprise Program. Guests engage in one of five core areas – quilting, woodworking, knitting, art or jewellery making – and earn money as their items are sold. We are very excited about this program and will have our Guests’ creations on display for you to purchase soon. Please check back.
If you’d like to support any of these skill-building initiatives directly, please click here