COMMUNITY INCLUSION CENTRES
In recent years Kindale has committed to moving services out of ‘sheltered’ settings into the community wherever possible. This is particularly important for younger people who participated in the public school system and never experienced institutionalization. These young folk are often reluctant to participate in traditional programs. As a result Kindale has opened two ‘Community Inclusion Centres’ that operate more like a drop in or resource centres and many of the activities occur in the wider community. The first to open was ‘Mainstreet Connections’ in Downtown Vernon in 2008. ‘Independent Generation’ opened in a mall in Armstrong in 2009.
Mainstreet Connections: Vernon
Mainstreet Connections opened in downtown Vernon in 2008 as an expansion of the New Beginnings program which began in 2002. Mainstreet is a resource for younger people who lead independent or semi-independent lives in the community and are not comfortable in traditional programs. Thanks to extra funding from organizations and foundations such as the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, United Way and the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, it also reaches out to young people in the area who can be considered ‘at risk’. It offers a wide range of innovative services and activities including:
- A dynamic arts program
- Life skills and sex/relationship education
- Socials and movie nights
- Outdoor and wilderness recreation
In addition, a number of participants are able to earn extra money by working at various contracts that the Centre has with businesses in the downtown area. They also have ready access to an employment specialist who will work closely with them to find employment. Click here for more info about employment services.
Independent Generation: Armstrong
Independent Generation opened in a shopping mall in Armstrong mall in 2009. Like Mainstreet Connections, this centre reflects the shift towards greater community inclusion. Participants are encouraged to be active outside the Centre and many of the activities occur in the wider community.