In an effort to support the on-going responsiveness of its programming, Island Crisis Care Society (ICCS) has taken an exciting step forward with the launch of Project Rise. This new ICCS program enhances our housing program portfolio, offering life skills, pre-employment and employment skills training and select work placements for program participants, supporting them on their path towards recovery and independence.
Many ICCS clients face barriers to employment and re-connection to the community. While our current programs strive to support clients where they are, the leap from homelessness to supported housing to independent community life is great. Unless we equip clients with real skills, they can use to find a way back to community, to navigate through the job market and to fill gaps in knowledge and experience from how to balance a cheque book to how to communicate effectively with others, the leap is often too great.
With these essential skills, however, possibility is born. This is the intent of Project Rise.
This new program aims to support clients who have moved towards independence in housing but are unable to access the employment market to take the next steps to regain the rhythm of community life.
Participants in the program will first access life skills training, filling gaps in experience around self care, getting along and coping skills. Clients who move to phase 2 of the program will access specific pre-employment training, followed by the possibility of practical work placements.
A key component of this new program has been the acquisition and social purpose conversion of an established and respected local business, Nanaimo Bakery & Confectionery Ltd. by the newly established social purpose company, Rising Hope Services Inc., a subsidiary of Island Crisis Care Society. The building will provide space for the planned skills and employment training, and the Bakery and Café will serve as one of the potential employment placements offered through the program. Alongside these operations, the larger building at 2025 Bowen Rd. will be adapted to house ICCS and Project Rise program offices as well as new community collaboration spaces to benefit the most vulnerable in the community.