The Men’s Centre, located in Nanaimo, could close without financial aid from the provincial government, the organization says. NEWS BULLETIN photo

Men’s Centre on mid Island warns it will have to close

Centre, located in Nanaimo, has offered programs for men in the region for more than 15 years

The mid Island’s Men’s Centre could close without financial aid from the provincial government.

The men’s centre, located in Nanaimo, announced today that it’s time for the province to step up and fund it adequately or it will have to close its doors. It can “no longer function on a song and a prayer.”

The organization has been in the city for more than 15 years, offering men and boys across Vancouver Island and B.C. everything from free counselling services and clothing to programs on suicide prevention, addiction and homelessness.

But it’s also been faced a funding crunch.

Executive director Theo Boere said the organization applies and gets community gaming and other grants and receives donations, but he said it’s never been enough and this year, the organization has had less. He said creating stability is impossible with short-term funding and cuts have had to be made every year.

“At our best we run on a skeleton staff, when we come up against financial challenges we cut into the marrow, we’ll cut programs if we have to, or staff, and that’s difficult. It’s difficult on the people, it’s difficult on the clients because of the lack of continuity,” he said.

The centre met with Solicitor General Mike Farnworth and Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog last November, seeking $400,000 annually to operate and $1 million for a transition house for men fleeing violence, according to Boere.

The centre also proposed having more men’s centres around the province because Boere said there are none in places like Vancouver and Victoria. In the press release, he claims Farnworth committed to working with Krog to solve the long-term financial sustainability problems of the centre but that six months later “nothing significant has happened.”

Krog told the News Bulletin that in fairness, no specific commitments were made and said the centre has relied upon and received, from time to time, gaming funding, which is competitive.

Boere told the News Bulletin the centre is discouraged, burnt out and unsure it can continue without support from the province, and he believes the province has a responsibility to help because its responsible for social programs.

“If the province said “well, we’re not going to fund women’s programs, there’d be a huge outcry,” he said. “We run men’s programs, yet every year we struggle to survive and the province has been pretty meager in their support.”

The Nanaimo Men’s Centre will run out of funding this summer, and at stake, Boere said, is the survival of the centre and whether men in the community will continue to have a resource uniquely for them and that understands their pressures. He himself will consider whether he wants to stay as executive director.

“Unless there is either some significant funding from the province or some other solution brought forward by the community I don’t see how we can continue,” he said.

Krog said he’s been working the last few weeks with the minister’s office and he’s hopeful to get the centre a little bit of money, but not a lot and nothing like $400,000. He doesn’t want the centre to close, he said.

“I agree completely that an organization that serves men is important and I think it’s something that needs to be recognized,” he said. “I think having the organization in Nanaimo has been of use and value and has, I believe, promoted a reduction in violence, domestic violence.”

In an e-mailed statement, Farnworth said he met with the organization last fall and learned more about the work it does to support men on the Island.

“Our government continues to support a continuum of victim service programs available to both men and women across B.C.,” he said. “Staff from my ministry will connect back with this organization in the coming days.”



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

BC Hockey to improve concussion care for players

BC Hockey has partnered with HeadCheck Health Inc. to establish standardization, and… Continue reading

Drug-busted building in Parksville declared a ‘nuisance property’

RCMP has attended 354 Island Hwy. West 86 times since 2007

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

UPDATED: Lawsuit filed against city by GoFundMe group against Corfield supportive housing project

Supreme Court of B.C. files show four petitioners in the lawsuit

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

NASA provides a timelapse of smoke covering B.C. from space

Child dies in boating incident in Okanagan

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon when the incident occured

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

More fires have burned in B.C. already this year than did in all of 2017

Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

Smokey skies across Vancouver Island expected to last until Wednesday

The province of B.C. has issued a special bulletin for all of Vancouver Island

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Trans Mountain pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud

Last week, a Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove everything from the site

Gun used in Fredericton killings is legal, man had licence

Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the long gun is commonly available for purchase, and is not a prohibited or restricted weapon

Ontario will sell pot online when legalization comes in the fall

There are further plans to have pot in private retail stores in early 2019

Most Read