The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) had to adapt programs and services during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure it could support clients. Karen Laing, executive director, presented the association’s annual report with Vicky Stickwood-Hislop, board president, to Ladysmith town council last month and said the pandemic did not have a significant impact its on funding.
“We have seen the reverse happen at LRCA,” Laing said. “During this fiscal year, we have not suffered in regards to funding.”
One of the programs that had to be reworked due to COVID-19 was the food bank, according to Stickwood-Hislop. She said the association had to look at its food security program in a new light.
“I am pleased to say the changes put in place gave our clients the feeling of being in control of their choices, of not being one of many, but of actually walking in and feeling like they had the opportunity to be welcomed.” She added changes to the food bank intake process allowed clients more choices, which included healthier options.
Coun. Duck Paterson said he would like to see a report on vulnerable youth from the association — he said he has not seen that information for at least six years. “I am aware that you do a lot, but it doesn’t really tell us how many people you are serving and in what capacity,” he said after the presentation.
Stickwood-Hislop said the association did not have the information on hand but would create a report in the coming weeks.
Coun. Amanda Jacobson asked the association for an update on the temporary shelter for homeless residents at the Island Hotel. The facility is operating on a temporary use permit, which is set to expire at the end of the month, according to Stickwood-Hislop.
Laing said the association is working with BC Housing to decide how to move forward with the project.
Coun. Marsh Stevens expressed concern about the lack of concrete data in the presentation. “We do a ton to support this organization — to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. “The absence of data tonight is boggling to me.”
Laing said the LRCA will have a full report before its annual general meeting on Sept. 15.