Monday to Friday at 9:00 am the doors of Community Services are opened and another busy day begins. Before long the reception area fills up with clients seeking assistance. Some come for emergency food hampers or meal tickets; others to speak to a community worker; appointments are made for free haircuts or a free chiropractic session. A client who is being referred to a treatment centre waits patiently to see the drug/alcohol counsellor. Someone living on the streets has an appointment to get a voucher for a warm coat to ward off the seasonal cold. The need for assistance varies; all are made to feel welcomed and valued.
The Giving Back Program has resulted in more services available to clients who otherwise could not manage due to financial constraints. These services are by appointment only due to the demand and to ensure fair access. We are grateful to the volunteers who donate their time and expertise to assist our clients.
Community Services offers the following:
- Emergency Food Hampers (3,000 given out annually)
- Meal tickets (for those without funds)
- Addiction Services: Referrals to Treatment Centres
- Clothing Vouchers for Salvation Army Thrift Stores
- Free haircuts – one afternoon a week *
- Free Chiropractic Clinic –one afternoon a week *
- Income Tax Clinic – free to those who qualify (March 1 -May 31 & Sept.15 –November 30 dependent upon availability of volunteers and demand) *
- Summer Camp – 18 kids from Nanaimo sponsored to attend a week at camp
- Back to School- 1st wk. of Sept. – free school supplies & backpacks for children
- Educational workshops /programs - (offerings based on available facilitators)
- AA Meetings – one evening a week
- Coffee House – one evening a week *
* Service provided by the Giving Back Program
Funding for programs/services is dependent upon donations from the community; in-house fundraising activities through special events and the Christmas Kettle Campaign; and proceeds from the Salvation Army Thrift Stores.