Can you review the services offered by the Resource Centre and who they are for?
No matter what 2023 has in store for you, this week’s column is a reminder about how the Resource Centre’s programs and services are here for all of you.
While so many of you use and recommend our services, for every one person who walks into our office with a clipped article in hand or as repeat clients, so many others of all ages call us, email us or walk in simply saying “So, what DO you do here?” (A question we welcome by the way!)
So here is my elevator speech – but just let this elevator get to the top floor so I can fit it all into this column, okay?
The “we” in this column, is “we” the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre staff, board and volunteers. We are a social services and healthcare non-profit here on the Coast supporting people from k’ik’elxn (Port Mellon) to sk̲elh (Earls Cove) and everywhere in between. Believe it or not, we’ve been helping the community for 30 years and counting. We run our own programs and do our own community work, often in collaboration with other community groups. We are a small but mighty team of staff and we are continuously grateful to our growing team of compassionate volunteers who help us with front-desk work and special projects. Our little store-front office is located in Sechelt, in Teredo Square, right next to the Scotiabank, and our regular drop-in hours are Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Appointments are recommended.) Note: Our team is available outside of our regular hours by appointment.
Get to know our Resource Centre programs:
1) Community Information Hub: A place to get support in connecting to local, provincial and federal programs and services. Anything from getting help finding out what hardship resources exist locally if you’re having trouble making ends meet; finding answers to things like how to connect with income assistance, OAS/GIS/CPP or other government benefits; getting support while filling out forms on paper or online; or any number of general information questions.
2) Legal Advocacy Program: Funded by the Law Foundation of BC, our Legal Advocate offers community support, guidance and where possible, full client representation at hearings and tribunals for issues like Residential Tenancy Board issues, Persons with Disability and CPP-Disability applications and reconsiderations, employment law and workers rights issues and human rights issues and many other topics.
3) Our Legal Information & Legal Aid Program: We can help you navigate the sea of legal information out there, and get help accessing free legal information and advice services run by Legal Aid BC and many other legal resources, online, over the phone and in-person. Family law, criminal law and questions centered on wills and estates are topics we often see, but all legal topics and questions are welcome. We are not lawyers, but we do our best to find an advice service or resource that can help you move forward in your situation. If you are looking for Indigenous-specific legal resources, we can point you in the right direction.
4) Caregiver Support Network: This is a place for unpaid caregivers to reach a trained and compassionate ear who can help you with a) One-on-one support by phone; b) Assistance in navigating the healthcare system; c) Information and referrals to disease-specific organizations and groups; d) Assistance accessing and understanding personal, health, and financial planning and: e) Connecting you to resources and supports for caregivers.
5) Community Work: Our history of community development projects is vast – we currently chair the Seniors Planning Table, and we are spearheading the second phase of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. Click on the “planning” tab on our website (www.resourcecentre.ca) to get a more detailed understanding of these projects.
We are excited about these upcoming events:
Jan. 11, 6 p.m., Gibsons & District Public Library: Join Legal advocate Ken Carson for a presentation about landlord-tenancy issues and the Residential Tenancy Act. Questions and answers will follow.
Jan. 18, 8:30 a.m. to noon: “Caregiver Community Consultation,” a chance to create dialogue about the needs of caregivers on the Coast. For more information, email email@example.com or call 604-802-7781.
Beginning Jan. 23, Mondays, noon to 2 p.m., Gibsons & District Public Library: Under the umbrella of our Legal Aid & Information Program, drop-into on a first come first served basis, to get help connecting to legal resources that can help. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-885-4088.
My new year’s ask of you is to tell a friend about our services, because we are here to help everyone, regardless of age, gender, income-level or situation. If your scissors are handy, clip this article out of the paper, throw it in your wallet or purse, and then pass it onto someone you think might benefit now or in the future. For more on all that we do: www.resourcecentre.ca .
Sending peace, kindness, some sparkle … and a splash of fresh ocean air your way for 2023 and beyond.
Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: email@example.com or 604-885-4088.