Vermilion Energy's culture of caring creates safe place for vulnerable youth
July 09, 2018
Ever wonder what the true definition of a great partnership is? At Wood’s Homes, we think we know the answer – a mix of commitment, support, hard work and great chemistry. These are the ingredients we share with our friends at Vermilion Energy, whose staff demonstrated their passion for our work once again at a recent Day of Caring!
In the wee hours of June 21, 118 Vermilion Energy volunteers (including six family members) arrived to our new campus in Inglewood armed with paintbrushes, landscape tools, cleaning products, buckets, pails and smiles! The crew was on a mission: to revitalize the grounds by planting trees, flowers and bushes, and to do some final cleanup and painting indoors. This new facility desperately needed sprucing up as its doors were about to open to Calgary’s homeless and at-risk youth.
Located at 1008 14 St. S.E., the 30,000 square-foot building, which has been under renovation since last November, is now home to eight Wood’s Homes programs. Included in these programs are our Street Services which will provide mental health counselling, temporary accommodation, life skills and employment training, a medical clinic and most importantly a place of trust. The focus is to help homeless and at-risk youth discover their potential and to get them on the road toward independent living.
- ACCOMMODATION: The top floor of this 3-storey building includes 11 temporary apartments for youth (ages 18-24); a medical clinic and a wellness centre. Thanks to the folks at Vermilion who helped with some last minute polish to help create a clean and safe environment.
- CULINARY OPPORTUNITIES: Our popular Youth Culinary Arts Program supports young people with an interest in the culinary field. The large commercial kitchen provides a long overdue training and preparation space.
- EMPLOYMENT TRAINING: Another of the programs in this facility is called LEAD (Linking Employment, Abilities and Development), which provides opportunity to learn valuable skills in finding and keeping meaningful work.
- ACCESSIBILITY: Until recently, all of these programs were housed at multiple locations forcing youth, with limited transportation options, to navigate different sites. Clients told us this was a barrier to accessing services. This facility is now a ‘one-stop shop’.
- CIRCULAR SPACE: The main floor includes an area that offers up many opportunities for use, which now sports a fresh new coat of sky-blue paint thanks to Vermilion Energy. This space - a circular, open-concept area - is a calming place that will be used by groups for self-reflection and a momentary escape from the challenges many of our vulnerable clients face.
- ADJOINING PROGRAMS: Wood’s Homes Foster Care Network and Home Connections programs will move in later this summer.
‘Safe’ is a word our clients commonly use when describing how they feel at Wood’s Homes. Thanks to Vermilion Energy employees (who worked tirelessly under a blazing sun) – the planting of new trees, bushes and sod have created a warm and welcoming environment for the 500+ vulnerable youth who are expected to be served in the coming year.
Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough!