PORT HARDY—The Salvation Army’s Michael Winter appeared before council last week to discuss current programming at the Lighthouse Resource Centre.
Winter, the centre’s Community Ministries Supervisor, explained some of the resources that the centre offers on a regular basis.
The centre serves between 80 and 200 people every day, providing approximately 100 hot meals daily. It offers access to a fax, three AA meetings and two legal aid consultations each week, as well as access to nurses.
In addition, the centre offers emergency assistance with food, shelter and clothing, a place where hygiene needs can be met, a host of client services, and safety.
Winter said that staff were noticing an increase in the number and types of people using their services.
“It’s not only the marginalized we’re seeing now; there’s a trend where we’re seeing young people, seniors — it’s the current economic situation.”
Five months of the year, the centre functions as an emergency shelter, offering overnight shelter, breakfast and dinner during the coldest months of the year.
“There’s a definite need,” said Winter, “and it’s increasing.”
“It’s wonderful what you do,” said coun. Debbie Huddlestan. “It’s amazing.”
The Regional District’s Manager of Economic Development, Pat English, gave a presentation to councillors on the Come Back Home Project.
The project aims to identify why the region’s youth leave the area and what can be done to retain them or draw them back.
“I’ve inherited this from Neil (Smith, former Ec. Dev. Manager),” said English. “We’re trying to address the terrible demographic picture we’re facing.”
The project is still in the first of its three phases, gathering information through student surveys. This will be followed by a workshop, planned for late February, then developing resources to implement the findings.
English said that he planned to hold the workshop on a Saturday to maximize business involvement and would invite students to attend. He suggested Seven Hills Golf and Country Club as a potential meeting place but said that he was open to discussion.
Deputy Mayor Jessie Hemphill, chairing the meeting, advised English that holding two workshops, one at each high school, during the school week would have much better attendance.
English thanked councillors for their input.
Bylaw No. 1020-2012, a Bylaw to Amend Open Burning and Smoke Control Bylaw No. 15-2012, was given first, second and third readings.
Director Corporate Services Jeff Long explained that, “We’ve had some issues around Jensen Cove burning and this gave us an opportunity to revisit the bylaw.”
As part of the visit, the District has taken the original map and broken it down into five areas to more clearly show delineation between zones.
The amended bylaw also includes 30 additional days of burning, reflecting the local climate, and removes references to ceremonial fires.