B.C. ranch to offer refuge for veterans, first responders with mental illness

Facility in Ashcroft will hold ceremonial launch Oct. 5 and start offering services next year

A new safe haven for first responders and military veterans will soon be open in Ashcroft, B.C., to provide critical mental health support and services to the community at large.

Honour Ranch will hold a ceremonial launch on Oct. 5 ahead of its official launch next year.

“We’ll start treatment in early 2020,” said honourary colonel Allan De Genova, also the president and founder of Honour House Society. “The main lodge is ready and we’ll be working towards another 10 cottages.”

Until then, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and various professionals will continue to set up programs for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.

De Genova said he was inspired to start the ranch by his friend, veteran Joseph Allina, who completed three tours in Afghanistan but committed suicide last July. Allina’s partner, a Surrey RCMP officer, will be there for the launch on Oct. 5.

“If I would have had Honour Ranch up and running, I would have saved Joe,” he said. “I feel bad about that and so Joe is truly my inspiration behind getting this ranch up and running. I think about him every day and I’ve been pushing to get here.”

ALSO READ: First responders mosaic helps Ashcroft and Cache-Creek heal through art

During a ceremony the week prior, he said a local RCMP officer approached him and described how desperately he needs the facility to open.

“He said ‘I will be there.” I couldn’t believe it,” De Genova said, feeling more inspired than ever to continue his mission to help other veterans and first responders recover and thrive.

He said he sympathized with Ashcroft and Cache Creek residents’ recent adversities, including wildfires, floods, mudslides, and even losing a fire chief.

“I can see it and feel it, like all of you, and I think this ranch will really help the greater community and all of British Columbia,” he said. “All of our first responders and military are a family and we need to look after them because they’re there to look after you virtually every day, 24/7.”

Honour House opened in 2011 in New Westminster, offering free lodging to first responders and armed forces members who required medical treatment and care. Honour Ranch itself sits on a 120-acre property south of Ashcroft.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Infrastructure upgrades about to get underway on Bowen Road

Nighttime road work to start next Monday, June 8, between old Island Highway and Labieux Road

Resiliency program set up to help Island tourism through ‘grim’ times

Tourism Vancouver Island CEO says 23-25 per cent of tourism businesses may shut down permanently

Column: Vulnerability to global disasters is our own making

For many, needs of the moment take precedence over concerns about sustainability, notes columnist

House burns in Harewood, three people displaced

Dog unaccounted for after house fire Sunday evening

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Most Read