A SPACE FOR…
Our new Community Space is a safe and supportive environment that provides opportunities for reflection, healing, and reconciliation, which is critical to building hope for the future.
Our new Community Space is designed to facilitate personal and community development. The layout allows for more high-quality programs and fewer barriers in order to nurture a strong culture.
Our new Community Space was designed with all people in mind. No matter who they are, what they’ve been through, or where they are on their journey—we have space for everyone.
The Need for Transformation
Bissell Centre has operated a drop-in centre for over a hundred years as a means of engaging with individuals who struggle with homelessness and poverty. But to help those we serve, and ultimately eliminate poverty in our community, we knew we needed to offer more than a gathering space.
But to improve access to the supports and services we offer, and facilitate collaboration within our community, first, we needed to transform our space.
Redefining The Way We Offer Support
Recent renovations to our Bissell East building is significantly improving people’s ability to access housing supports, employment opportunities, skills training, and other vital programs necessary to address the challenges of poverty.
Our new community space improves:
1. Access to Basic Needs
Everyone’s basic needs must first be met in a timely manner before longer-term changes can be contemplated. Moving the showers, washrooms, laundry facilities closer together will be more efficient and enable us to increase the number of amenities available. Separating these facilities from the open area where programs happen will also provide a more dignifying experience for clients.
2. Community Development
A stronger sense of community within the new space will increase participation, foster collaboration, and promote learning. The addition of multi-purpose rooms will allow for more, quality programs with fewer barriers and distractions in order to nurture a strong culture. We will integrate circular designs and other elements throughout that honour Indigenous culture and traditions, and represent the diversity of our community.
3. Access to Support
Clients need to have access to accurate and updated service information, and staff need to have up-to-date knowledge to assist clients as they navigate the various systems of support. With effective staff training, appropriate information distribution systems, and a centralized intake and referral system, we can significantly reduce barriers and stress for our participants to getting the help and support they need.
4. Resiliency & Relationships
People experiencing poverty, in particular those who are homeless, have experienced trauma, conflict, victimization, loss of relationships and alienation. Our objective is to create a safe and inclusive environment that provides opportunities for reflection, healing, and reconciliation. Quiet spaces, a living wall, and a memorial wall are a few elements that will increase people’s abilities to deal with challenges in a sustainable manner.
Interventions and supports available through our new space include:
Mental health services
Arts & Rec programs
An Inside Look
Thank you to our construction partner Hendriks Construction
Please note the drawings below are concept drawings, not final renditions.
Phase 2 of the renovations will continue in 2019. They will include the remaining areas of the 2nd floor and minor changes to the exterior of the building.
Thanks to the generous project funders for helping us achieve our vision for our NEW Community Space!
Please contact Richelle Volk at 780.423.2285 ext 365 for more information.