Every little bit helps, according to Theo Boere, executive director of the Men’s Centre, whose organization has kick-started a fundraising campaign to help keep its programs afloat.
For 16 years, the Men’s Centre has offered programs to men and their families from across B.C. and Vancouver Island. Its office in the Old City Quarter has racks of work clothes and suits, free for men seeking jobs or heading to court, and it offers services like supervised access to children, free counselling and domestic violence prevention.
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But the organization said in a press release it’s struggling to survive year after year with only short-term grant funding and will close if the provincial government doesn’t step up to the plate and fund the centre adequately. At a meeting with the solicitor general and Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog last year, the Men’s Centre asked for $400,000 annually to operate, according to Boere.
Krog told the News Bulletin last week he couldn’t make any promises or commitments but he’s been working with the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s office and he’s hopeful to get the centre a little bit of money. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth also said in an e-mailed statement his ministry would connect with the organization in the coming days. Boere hadn’t heard from the province as of late Tuesday afternoon.
The Men’s Centre is starting its fundraising campaign with a $20,000 goal, which Boere said will keep the centre open on a bare bones budget until it gets gaming funding this winter.
“What I hope and what I see and what I’m encouraged by over the last week is the amount of community emotional and volunteer support that people are willing to put out and some people are certainly donating dollars and that will help us stay open, will increase our longevity,” said Boere. “But what I sincerely hope is that the province will step up to the plate and allow the men and fathers of this province to have adequate resources.”
For more information about the campaign see www.themenscentre.ca.