Board member Joan Carson and president Michele Avery are part of the team which assists the Eureka Support Society. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Board member Joan Carson and president Michele Avery are part of the team which assists the Eureka Support Society. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Eureka aims to transform outdoor space with online fundraiser

The society is a resource for adults with persistent mental health issues

With the goal of transforming an outdoor space into an extension of their facility, the Eureka Support Society is hoping an online fundraising contest might push them towards their goal.

The society, housed on Fourth Street in downtown Courtenay, is a resource for adults with persistent mental health issues, explained Susan Klimczak, the fundraising co-ordinator for Eureka. They are working on raising the profile of mental health within the community and hope an online fundraising contest will help with both awareness and helping to transform their facility.

“We are accepting donations through CanadaHelps.org, and every dollar donated between June 1 and 30 enters us to win $20,000, so we’re going for it,” she said.

RELATED: Eureka cornerstone for adults living with mental illness in the Valley

While Eureka accepts donations and fundraising throughout the year, they are specifically looking to raise $5,000 in order to expand their outdoor space which currently backs onto an ally.

Klimczak explained the pandemic showed the society the need for an outdoor space for their clients and would like to build a fence with a gate, purchase a canopy, outdoor furniture and screens or a way to divide the space. She added part of the space could be used to grow vegetables and herbs for their hot lunch or frozen meal programs.

In 2004, the society purchased the building in which they are currently located – 280 4th Street in Courtenay. While membership changes year over year, there are between 30 and 40 members a year, and just below a dozen board members.

Throughout a regular year, the society runs a number of longstanding programs such as hosting lunches, physical activity, art programming and employment. Through a contract with Island Health, the society must employ at least five people with mental illnesses. Shifts vary from one or two hours at a time, and employees work anywhere between two to 24 hours a week.

“Eureka is a gem in the Comox Valley – there’s nothing else like it. It’s a safe place for people who have consistent and severe mental health and it’s a safe and welcoming place,” said Klimczak.

For more information on the Eureka Support Society, visit eurekasupportsociety.ca.



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