- BC Games
Anti-poverty group makes move
The Terrace Anti-Poverty Group Society will be shutting down temporarily and then reopening in a new location.
“There is going to be a lull in services,” society board president Tanya Gauvin said, explaining that there will be no food share or free store until the spring.
The group is currently working on a deal with the Ksan House Society to stay operating.
“It’ll really take the pressure off,” Gauvin said, saying this will give the agency more time to apply for grants.
The anti-poverty group has been struggling since losing its main provincial grant.
“We were looking at shutting right down and dissolving the society,” Gauvin said, saying that there are six board members and four regular volunteers along with a few other volunteers and handymen who help keep the group going.
“Everybody right now is a volunteer,” she said.
“We were feeling like there was nowhere to go, we were getting burnt out.”
The group has decided to end its lease on the city-owned house located on Park Ave. next to the pool. The lease runs out Jan. 31 and the city has put the building for rent, so the group is packing up.
Gauvin said the group didn’t feel it should burden the city with rental issues. City council agreed in November 2009 to reduce the group’s rent to $1 a month. Before that, Anti-Poverty was paying $600 a month plus expenses and maintenance costs, but the city gave the group a break after its gaming grants were cut.
The society had been getting $90,000 a year in gaming money to pay for staff and programs and $30,000 from the Law Foundation to provide tenancy advocacy services.
But the group’s resources took a plunge last year when it was given no government money, and staff time was cut gradually until money for the executive director’s position ran out last July.
“It was really breaking my heart that we had to look at this option,” Gauvin said of the possibility of Anti-Poverty shutting down.
The volunteers will be packing up and cleaning the house this coming week, and the group is trying to get rid of all of the items in the house. Anti-Poverty is hoping to reopen with Ksan’s help in the spring.
It will be able to run the community gardens, a Christmas gift campaign, and the free store.