Ever since Karine began to serve hot meals and baked goods at the Parkdale Food Centre she has felt like she is part of something meaningful. Karine says it’s very important to her to have a place to go that helps her to build employment skills for the future. She also says her role at the Food Centre makes her feel she is able to give back to the community.
Karine is a client of the Homes for Special Care (HSC) Employment program. This Causeway service helps people with mental illness residing in private boarding homes to obtain and maintain part time employment or volunteer work. The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group has contracted Causeway to provide recreational and vocational services to approximately 150 individuals living in several homes across Ottawa. With the help of their job coach, Michele Benson, the participants of the vocational program can develop a sense of purpose and self-confidence and acquire transferable skills for the future. Over time, this allows them to integrate more completely into their wider community.
Every Thursday morning, without fail, Karine waits for Michele to pick her up and bring her to work. Karine looks forward to seeing Ms. Benson and appreciates the support she receives while she is on the job. Benson can’t say enough about her client’s level of dedication. In addition to working side by side with Michele at the Food Centre, Karine also enjoys Michele’s company off the job. The two often go out for breakfast together and socialize a bit before the work day begins.
Karine loves her new job, and if you visit the Parkdale Food Centre you will see why. The local food bank is a clean, well-organized operation and has a great communal atmosphere. During her shift, Karine does preparatory work for the hot meals and baking for the community fridge. She is happy to help out with anything the kitchen staff needs. She says she has always enjoyed cooking but she also really likes being part of a team.