Project Rise

Project Rise participant

Our current Project Rise cohort participants are well into their work placement part of the program after having finished their in-class training portion. Training looked a bit different this cohort as it had to be relocated to a room at the Aquatic Center due to flooding of our ICCS offices. Despite this change, Project Rise has been going strong and it only showed how resilient and adaptable participants are.

I had the opportunity to interview four of the participants. They were happy to share how they heard about Project Rise, how they like the program and what their hopes are for the future.

Rebecca, who I interview first, found out about the program through info posters at Samaritan Place where she is currently staying. She went to a meeting organized by Sharon, our Community Programs manager and Emily, the Project Rise coordinator. They talked about the program and what it is all about. Rebecca decided to apply. She got invited back for interviews and was accepted into the program. She says that she loves the program so far and is excited about the work placement.

Rebecca says the program has allowed her to step out of her comfort zone. Having a lot of social anxiety she notes that “learning how to put myself out there, that’s big. The whole working aspect of it has been pretty eye opening as well.”

I ask her what her hopes and dreams for the future are and she comments that she wants to broaden her horizon and try to open more doors in the work field and see what she can learn. “I want to see what kind of a valuable worker and team player I can be” she adds.

Stephanie, my next interviewee, was staying at Samaritan Place when she talked to Alexis, our Lifeskills coordinator, about Project Rise. She submitted her application and went for an interview. She didn’t succeed on her first go because she ended up in the hospital with a blood clot in her lung. She did eventually get accepted into the program. “I like Emily (Project Rise coordinator). She’s a really intelligent, bright, kind person. She doesn’t let anything get her down. I like that. It’s good to come to every day. She always lifts you up. There is never a problem that’s not solvable. It’s positive and I like that.”

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? “I would like to be able to work full time and volunteer part time. I am an artist myself and I’d like to work with children or disabled adults doing art therapy”, Stephanie explains.

Hunter, who I interview next, found out about Project Rise through looking for employment training opportunities on the internet. He applied and the response was quite quick. “I did the interview and got in” he says. “Everyone seems quite friendly and respectful, which is nice. I really like the work placement as well. I’m really hoping to prove myself on the farm (Growing Opportunities) and maybe get a longer term employment there. I think it’s a great program.”

What are your dreams and hopes for the future, I want to know. “I would like to go to VIU and study anthropology he says with a smile.

Tanya, my last interviewee, is working on her GED in addition to participating in the Project Rise program. She says Project Rise is excellent and that it has helped with her social anxiety. She is gaining skills and getting some certifications that she hopes will help with finding a job. Ideally, she’d like to work outside doing landscaping.

Project Rise is a program of Island Crisis Care Society (ICCS) aimed to deliver pre-employment and employment skills training and work placement opportunities to people who have experienced homelessness but are now ready to re-integrate more fully into independence and community life.

Please go to our program page to find out more and to apply:

Project Rise