BHF NEWS  May 2017

Now That Spring is Here …
At the Behavioural Health Foundation, we have been greeting spring in all the usual prairie ways – sweeping and raking away the grit of winter, looking up and smiling as we hear the geese returning, helping neighbours with sandbagging. But no matter what the season, days at BHF are always full. Here is some of what is going on these days.

On our traditional grounds - A spirit sweat marked the spring equinox. Members of the Sundance Lodge continue to prepare for the July ceremony. Mike Calder, Director of Indigenous Services, is providing teachings to members of 17th Wing Air Command, assisting them in establishing a sweat lodge on the barracks grounds.

At our daycare and K - 6 classroom - The children are all enjoying longer periods of outdoor play as the weather warms up. A recent highlight for the preschool group was a trip to the Manitoba Train Museum where they got to explore real train cars. During spring break week, the school age group was busy with wood work projects, making delightful bird houses and wooden animals. Thank you to Bruce Burron who came in to share his woodworking knowledge and skills. In the kindergarten to grade six classroom, the kids are putting their creative talents to work, making dioramas to illustrate what they are learning about the arctic.

At the St. Norbert Adult Education Centre - The second semester of classes are underway at SNAEC with students from BHF and nearby communities enrolled in various courses. We are proud to report that eight BHF members earned a total of thirteen credits in the first semester. Some of these members are now working at various off-site jobs while others continue  working toward their mature student diploma. Students in the adult literacy/upgrading class have been studying Gord Downey’s The Secret Path, reflecting on the courage of a young boy running away from residential school and on the challenge of reconciliation in our communities.
The BHF Employment Development Project – Our 2016/ 2017 contract with Employment Manitoba ended successfully with participants from both the Breezy Point women’s program and the Men’s, Women’s and Family Program learning skills in on-site work crews, completing an eight part seminar series, enrolling in adult education or training programs or entering an active job search as part of treatment plans. We anticipate repeating this success in the new fiscal year. As of this writing, ten members continue to live in the therapeutic community while holding down off-site jobs.

When the day’s work is done – Positive use of leisure time is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Members have been riding bikes, organizing outings to city pools, and walking the Assiniboine Forest trails. We will soon be planting a vegetable garden as well. 
Milestones for families – Since our last newsletter, BHF has welcomed three newborns home from hospital. They are so delightful and are clearly thriving in the therapeutic community with their families. In the same period, sixteen other children, ranging in age from 20 months to twelve years, have also to come to live with their parents at BHF. 

Milestones for staff – To Kathleen O’Meara, Shiela Reyes, Gayani Perera, and Maureen Jensen, a very warm welcome to our workplace and our community.

To Jennifer Larner, Theresa Shingoose, Michael Kurek, Nicole Corriveau, and Sean Gallop, good-bye and thank you for your work over the years.


As always, thank you to our supporters, our donors and our funders. Your generosity means so much. What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. – Joseph Addision
We acknowledge with thanks funding provided by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy. This funding, administered by the City of Winnipeg, allowed us to install new carpeting in several bedrooms, replace old showers and bath tubs, replace a rusted steam table and torn chairs in the dining room, install new fire doors and panic bars, replace twelve old windows, and rebuild a flight of century-old stairs. We are grateful for this support in keeping our residence a safe and attractive environment for adults and families, many of whom have experienced homelessness or precarious housing in the past.
Thank you to Project ECHO for the generous donation of adult clothing. Everything from pajamas to work boots is being put to good use.