Parksville Qualicum Beach ‘storefronts’ asked to provide a Safe Harbour

Training is available — e-mail safeharbour@cvims.org

A program developed in the mid-Island and now used nationally is helping prepare storefront staff to accommodate people who have different needs and help people in distress.

Local cultural diversity trainer Evelin Kruger explained that the Safe Harbour program, developed by the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society in 2008, gives two-to-three-hour training sessions to any interested business, agency or institution with a public “storefront.”

“The idea is to prepare staff to provide an immediate safe place for people who are in distress, to accommodate people who have different needs, and to keep an open mind towards people who look different,” she said.

She added that differences can be anything from age, language, gender, physical ability, sexuality, or “something as simple as someone with a mohawk not feeling comfortable in a certain store — the objective is to make everyone feel welcome.”

Through experiential learning, participants examine different scenarios and come up with equitable ways to treat everyone.

On completion, the organization displays a decal and certificate so the public knows they are a safe place to go. She said the federally- funded program will do a promotional campaign to make people aware of the decals.

She said along with being physically and emotionally accessible to everyone, participating organizations are asked to provide a safe space, ideally a quiet room or corner, but maybe just a chair, or access to a phone, a glass of water and a list of helpful contacts in the community like medical and social services.

With more than 1,000 locations across the country, Safe Harbour partners are specifically not expected to provide counselling, just a safe place.

Kruger did the workshops at the Career Centre and Forward House in Parksville this week and is available to other businesses and organizations.

Contact the regional Safe Harbour coordinator, Charlee Touchette at 1-250-753-6911 Ext. 122 or safeharbour@cvims.org for more information.

Just Posted

Support pours in for Bowser couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Genre-hopping harpist, singer to perform in Parksville

Musician on a quest to demystify harp playing GZAL on Jan. 24

Councillor has concerns about Qualicum Beach pot shop decision

Debate over location, public consultation and timing continues, though commitment already made

Oceanside RCMP arrest man wanted on several outstanding warrants

Hudson David Klassen, 26, picked up in Parksville

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Truck convoy honouring Nanaimo boy who died after being struck by vehicle

Trucks left from Victoria and others joined along the way up the Island

Parksville addictions treatment advocate to speak in Port Alberni

Recovering addict Kelly seeks to share more of her story with second event

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Elderly man dead following Union Bay collision

Crash happened Sunday afternoon

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Most Read