A new community resource centre has opened its doors on the North Shore, at 405a Tranquille Rd.
According to Glenn Hilke, The Loop is doing things a bit different than others.
“It’s a hybrid approach, a very unique concept,” he said.
“Unlike a community centre like the YMCA, we’re not doing fitness. What we’re doing is food security. We’re doing life skills learning and training. We’re also making the space available to other not-for-profit groups.”
One of the first groups to utilize the space is the Modern Man Family Project Society mens’ support group, a registered non-profit that offers Daddy’s Home, a fathers’ peer support group. The society also offers FIRE (Fathers In Relationship Education), a 10-week life skills course for local fathers. The society also offers a resource centre in The Loop that provides services to men and fathers, Mondays through Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Another regular program is Lunch and Learn, which runs every Friday and pairs a meal with a sit-down workshop.
Recent subjects have included training on the proper use of Naloxone, providing support to people with mental-health and addictions issues and a look at Indigenous food security perspectives.
Lunch is available six days a week and the meals originate from the COVID Meal Train program, which is produced out of The Loop’s kitchen. Once the meal train heads out into the community, those same meals are served at The Loop.
Hilke said the lunch program helps create a cross-clientele environment, where members of the homeless community and those with food security issues are able to share a meal with those who don’t find themselves in those categories.
“We want to encourage and enable that kind of contact,” Hilke said.
The people behind The Loop are also working to ensure everyone follows safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering hand sanitizer and masks and asking everyone to declare they are free of symptoms before gaining access to the program.
“If they do say they are symptomatic, then we’ll contact an Interior Health street nurse or one of the outreach services to let them know that there’s somebody that they may want to see,” Hilke said.
The Loop is managed by the Lived Experience Community Life and Peer Skills Program, a group that is also behind The Big Edition street newspaper.
Hilke said those in the program have been through every change one could imagine — socially, economically, physically and mentally — and are now in a position to help those facing the same struggles.
“That majority of our community members that come into The Loop are people with lived experience,” he said.
“Who better than to meet and greet them and to serve them than other people that have gone through that?”
For more information on The Loop, and to lend a hand, go online to linktr.ee/TheLoopKamloops.