Women’s and Men’s resource centres launch unique enterprise

Women’s and Men’s resource centres launch unique enterprise

Two local centres working for people facing upheaval in their lives have joined forces in a first-of-a-kind partnership, to create a business to raise funds, raise awareness, and help their clients.

Two local centres working for people facing upheaval in their lives have joined forces in a first-of-a-kind partnership, to create a business to raise funds, raise awareness, and help their clients.

The East Kootenay Men’s Resource Centre, open since January, 2017, and the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre, in operation for 35 years, have launched the company Kootenay Moving and Downsizing, an all-purpose service to help the people of Cranbrook and area with all aspects of their own change of residence, or change to residence.

The Men’s and Women’s Resource Centres are facing a continual financial crunch. Neither operation receives government funding, yet both are on the frontline of social problems, largely affecting the working poor, or those facing sudden barriers to society.

Continued from A1

Co-ordinator Steven Baker, a social worker by vocation, helped launch East Kootenay Men’s Resource Centre earlier this year, modelling it after its female counterpart, the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre. The Centre provides professional counseling support a referrals for a wide range of issues, for men, women and families.

“We’ve seen over 400 [clients] in the past year since we opened,” Baker said.

Clients can include men dealing substance abuse, mental illness or homelessness, with families falling apart or in children custody conflict, men just out of prison, or struggling with unemployment or suicidal feelings — there is a great range of issues affecting these individuals and the people around them.

“We’re serving men from all ages and all walks of life,” Baker said. “Including working families. People undergoing a catastrophic injury or illness, job loss or family breakdown …

“If we’re going to address any social problem, and help the most vulnerable, you need to get past the stigmas,” he added. “We’re dealing with complicated issues, and complicated individuals. There’s a lot more to it than just sending a guy to treatment. You have to address the underlying issues and give him the long-term support he needs.”

The East Kootenay Men’s Resource Centre operates out of the Community Connections building on 2nd Street North, the same as the Women’s Resource Centre.

A “one-stop-shop” Baker said, helping provide access to homeless outreach programs, Interior Health, legal aid, substance abuse programs, and more. The Men’s Resource Centre also offers peer support groups, drop-in “talk and do” sessions giving support for a range of topics, anger management programs.

There is still a waiting list for people who need access, he said, even though many clients just need temporary support.

“In an ideal world, people would get this service on their health card,” he said. “In other provinces, these services are funded by provincial health authorities. We hope to eventually get government funding, but until then we have to rely on community support.”

Denise Stewart, Co-ordinator at the Cranbrook Women’s’ Resource Centre, says that in just under a year since the Men’s Centre has been open, the need for it has been proved. In the meantime, the need for the Women’s Resource Centre — in operation for 35 years — is proved over and over again.

“We serve roughly between 1,500 and 2,000 women a year, from all over the East Kootenay,” Stewart said.

While like the Men’s Centre, the individuals and issues they face are many, unique and complex, the main issue the Women’s Centre clients face is domestic violence. The Women’s Resource Centre provides transitional support for women and families over a period of time, like a year.

Both centres continually face a funding crunch. They are not funded by the government, and rely on community donations.

Accordingly, the EK Men’s Resource Centre and the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre have joined forces — in what Baker says is a partnership unique to Canada — to form Kootenay Moving and Downsizing Service.

“It’s the first of its kind in Canada,” Baker said. “No where else has this model been applied.”

Kootenay Moving and Downsizing can also help people with downsizing solutions, or even help get their home ready for a sale.

“If you’re relocating, decluttering, or in transition, we can do it all for you,” Baker said. “We can help manage all the aspects of your move — sorting, packing, unpacking, settling in … if you’re a senior moving into Joseph Creek, for example, we can move you in, pick furniture, move things into storage. We can donate or sell things online, for a percentage. We can help set up estate sales or garage sales, and help people get ready for a sale.”

The program presents a portal into employment for people who normally have barriers to employment — men and women with disabilities, who are dealing with those catastrophic life-changing events, or those in transition into the work force. Baker said the program provides work, a reference, helps boost esteem and a skill set. It also offers a flexibility to help them get lives back on track.

And all profits go back to the two centres.

“We’re working to stop violence against men, women and families,” Baker said.

For more information on Kootenay Moving and Downsizing or the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre, contact Denise Stewart at 250-421-3824, or email cbkwrc@ccssebc.com.

For more information on Kootenay Moving and Downsizing or the East Kootenay Men’s Resource Centre, contact Steven Baker at 250-489-8631, or email steven.baker@hotmail.com

Just Posted

The City of Cranbrook and the Ktunaxa Nation raised the flag of the Ktunaxa Nation at the arches entrance into the city's downtown core during a ceremony on Monday, June 21. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Ktunaxa Nation flag raised at downtown arches entrance

The Ktunaxa Nation flag was raised at the Cranbrook arches — the… Continue reading

Kimberley Search and Rescue were able to quickly respond to a call for service and transport an injured mountain biker to East Kootenay Regional Hospital over the weekend. Kimberley SAR file photo.
Kimberley Search and Rescue respond to injured mountain biker on Bootleg Mountain

Kimberley Search and Rescue responded to a call for service this past… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation to host flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day. (Corey Bullock file)
City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation hosting flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day

A temporary road closure and speed limit reduction will be in effect during the ceremony

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

Most Read