The Mustard Seed in Red Deer is preparing for a new health and wellness centre that will provide enhanced services to clients.
Services will include free checkups with a dentist, visits with physicians and a counsellor, and social and recreational opportunities.
The services will provide clients with the opportunity to get to know about some of the agencies in the city and break down potential barriers for the homeless population, says the Mustard Seed.
Clinical operations and program manager Joshua Adams said although the services are geared toward those who access the Mustard Seed, they’re open to anyone in the community.
“We’re not going to close our doors. If someone comes in and wants to see a counsellor, for example, we’re not going to ask questions, like what’s your income or you’re not welcome here,” he said.
Some of the services are already available, while others will start later this year.
The organization expects to finish renovations in September to make room for clinical space and accommodate an examination table for patients.
The initial upgrades will cost around $18,000, and the organization is looking for community support through donations.
The Mustard Seed wanted to be creative in approaching mental health, homelessness and the stigma that goes with it, said Adams.
“People who are maybe struggling financially, or may be a bit lonely. If they’re walking by, or driving by, we want them to poke their head in and see what’s going on here,” he said.
There’s a need for services such as the ones the organization will provide, said Adams. They are geared toward clients who may be struggling to build friendships and social connections.
“They may have been abused in the past or traumatized in relationships in the past,” said the registered psychologist.
“So many don’t seek out services in the community that most people would have no problem seeking out. So having services brought to them in a space where they feel comfortable and they have relationships, for example, developing trusting relationships with staff, can be quite helpful.”