BC’s restart plan and the overall low number of Covid cases in the province has encouraged Houston Link to Learning to open its doors for people to walk in.
“We closed for a little bit back in March and then we started doing things like the recipe bags and community garden and the market but now we are trying to open to people walking-in as long as we are doing the usual physical distancing and hand-sanitizing and all of that,” said Marian Ells, manager for the Houston Link to Learning.
The walk-ins can come in to access computer and if they need any help on the computer, with resume writing, etc. The centre usually also has cooking groups but due to Covid, those are not operational. The centre however has a a Food Kitchen operational where freshly-prepared lunches are provided for pick up only.
The centre is also busy preparing a green house in the community garden for which they received a grant from Imagine Grant (NH) and another one from Dungate Community Forest. The two grants paid for the greenhouse and when it is all up, the grant funds will also be used to procure pots, and things that will go inside the greenhouse.
“A greenhouse is something we have wanted at the Community Garden for a long time time but hadn’t been able to get it until now so we are so excited that this project is coming together. We probably won’t get to use it too much until next year but we will have it there, ready,” said Ells adding that they were doing this also in partnership with the Health Centre, the Mental Health and Addiction Centre and Houston Community Services and the plan is to use this place as a venue for therapeutic horticulture.
The greenhouse and the community garden will also feature a wheelchair ramp for which Lakes District Maintenance has donated the crush, the backhoe and equipment to create a base and the ramp.
“The community garden ground is rough so having a ramp for any wheelchair users would be great so that they don’t have to go over gravel. It is hard. We do have a few people with mobility issues or are in a wheelchair who access the garden and we are looking forward to the ramp,” said Ells.
Link to Learning has also recently received a provincial grant from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, to combat anti-hate and anti-racism and support communities by offering Resilience BC services. A total of $75,000 will be distributed among nine northern B.C. organizations such as Houston Link to Learning, Dawson Creek Literacy Society, Immigrant Multicultural Services Society of Prince George, NEchako Health Community Alliance, North Coast Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society, Saulteau First Nation, Skeena Diversity Society, Smithers Social Planning Society and the Tamitik Status of Women Association in Kitimat.
“It is pretty good, the grant I believe would give us I believe $7,000. I don’t want to elaborate more because we are just not there, we literally just heard about the funding and we will probably have more information on this around September and October,” said Ells adding that this is one of those projects where Link To Learning gets the funding but they work with the community to actually do the program. “We don’t know what the program would be because the community hasn’t gotten together yet.”
In the meantime however, Ells told Houston Today that the centre is open to everyone and so far, despite Covid, things have been working well.
”Doors are open most of the times and if they are locked, phone for appointment and we can help with a variety of things. The community garden is also going really well and so is the Farmer’s market,” she said.
For any questions regarding Link to Learning or any of their programs, call (250) 845-2727 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org