Rising to Hope

Fall is here and the weather has turned cold. Our Project Rise participants are enjoying their last week of workshops and trainings before they are moving on to the next step in the program, their work placements. I sit down with three of the participants to talk about why they chose to take part in Project Rise, how they like it so far and what their hopes are for the future.

Justin mentions that he signed up for Project Rise at Newcastle Place where he is currently living. Sandra Fox (Manager at Newcastle) told him about the program. He signed up and got accepted. He says he’s learning a lot of stuff. “Some days you get a little tired” he notes but quickly adds that he is really enjoying it and never experienced anything like it. “I never got any kind of certificate he says” with a smile (Project Rise participants each receive a certificate after they complete the program).

“It feels good to try something in life”, he adds and continues to point out that “Stephen [is] a good guy. Yeah, he is. He has a sense of humour, for sure.”

Next up is Jimmy. How are you enjoying the program, I ask. “It’s been good. It’s a lot of information that I can take home with me. I learn about how to look for a job and how to interact in a group. I am actually asking questions and giving some input to the group” he adds proudly.

Asked about what stands out for him most, he says “just the interaction. I’ve been known to really be pretty quiet, shy, so yeah. I think I do a lot better in that area than I ever was.” Asked about his hopes for the future he says that “once the program is finished I’m hoping I’ll get a job that I can keep that I’ll enjoy.”

Project Rise is a new 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. Many ICCS clients face barriers to employment and re-connection to the community, based on adversity in their past, and the stigma of their present. This new program aims to fill that gap, supporting clients who have moved towards independence in housing but are unable to access the employment market take the next steps forward to regain the rhythm of community life.