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

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo hospital staff say lives depend on stopping spread of COVID-19

President of medical staff association, chief of staff at NRGH asking for community’s best efforts

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam, cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Most Read