Community Resource Centre secures funding

Joyce Avenue safe haven for at-risk residents set for another year

A director at Powell River Employment Program Society (PREP) in charge of fundraising for the Community Resource Centre (CRC) has announced the centre’s funding has been solidified for the coming year.

PREP director Ben Sills said funding for CRC’s annual $178,000 operating budget is now in place after nearly a year of fundraising efforts.

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“Funding has been secured and the CRC will continue operating for the next 12 months the way it is now,” said Sills.

The announcement comes after Powell River Regional District (PRRD) recently deferred the centre’s $25,000 grant-in-aid application. The application was first discussed at PRRD’s November meeting, but pushed to the regional district’s January meeting, then again postponed until mid-February. The centre’s current operating budget ends on March 31.

Sills said PREP is still optimistic the regional district will approve the centre’s grant-in-aid application.

“I am hopeful that they would commit to the funding, but whether they have or not, it’s obviously their decision,” said Sills, “and we’re hopeful they will be able to participate in the centre’s financing sometime in the near future.”

PREP employs one full-time and two-part time employees at the centre’s Joyce Avenue location to run its many programs for at-risk Powell River residents, such as mental-health support, community kitchen, workshops and referral services. The centre is also used as a venue for community events, meetings and a weekly farmers’ market during the fall and winter.

“We’re very excited to be able to continue to support the people of Powell River,” said CRC manager Martyn Woolley, “and thank you to everyone who has donated and helped look after the CRC and its vision to support this community.”

The CRC has seen an outpouring of help during its fundraising drive, according to Sills, citing a $7,500 donation from First Credit Union as just one example of the community’s generosity and support of the centre.

“We never had a negative from anybody when it comes to the activities and programs at the CRC,” he said, “which is one of the reasons why it made it so easy for me to go out there and knock on doors.”

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