The Moose Jaw Association for Community Living is partnering with Community Square One, Inc. to offer a basic life skills program that will help individuals increase their independence.
The program is open to anyone over the age of 21, although coordinator Ashley Florent notes that they will not be excluding anyone. There are 10 spots available, and it starts on March 1.
The Life Skills program will run for 10 weeks, ending in the first week of May. It will be held on Tuesdays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Late registrations are ok, as well, Florent said. “If someone finds out about it two weeks in, then we’re certainly not going to turn anyone away.”
“The life skills program was designed to connect participants to local resources,” Florent said, “and to develop essential skills such as cooking, positive relationships, coping skills, budgeting, and positive expression through art.”
It is free to register. Florent that if transportation is a barrier, then Square One can help participants out in reaching the Tuesday classes.
Square One is a community-based organization (CBO) whose goal is to reach out to and support housing-insecure people in Moose Jaw and the surrounding area. Its mission is to “support and advocate for those who are facing homelessness and barriers due to substance abuse, mental health, incarceration, acquired brain injury, and other social barriers.”
The Square One leadership are involved in organizing advocacy- and awareness-raising programs around Moose Jaw, such as a recent lunch-and-learn talk with guest speakers from the Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre. They also use their funds to help provide shelter to the homeless in emergencies.
The partnership on this new program came about because of the Moose Jaw Association for Community Living’s (MJACL) experience in teaching life skills.
Susan Kellock, program manager at MJACL, explained that their mission is to “ensure that citizens of Saskatchewan who have intellectual disabilities are valued, supported, and included members of society, and that they have opportunities and choices in all aspects of life.”
One of their programs is called Connection of Friends. It helps young adults aged 18 to 35 to make social connections, learn vocational skills, volunteer and engage with their community, and master routine daily tasks necessary for adult life.
Life Skills is basically Connection of Friends, adapted to include everyone who needs it, Kellock said.
“It’s kind of a blend,” Florent said. Some of the teaching will be done by Florent and other members of the two CBOs involved. Where additional training is required to facilitate other skills, they will bring in experts in that field from other community partners.
“I hope that participants can be successful. Live independently, develop their important life skills. Just be successful,” Florent said.
Registration for the program, and more information about it, is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If hopeful participants don’t have access to email, a caseworker at any of the CBOs in Moose Jaw can help them out.