Organization refuses to ‘pass the buck,’ says outreach worker
Wednesday November 30, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
Sometimes it just takes a little push, or a small contribution to help get someone the start they need to be successful. Outreach worker Tony Matijiw says he’s proud that his colleagues at the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) are dedicated to helping the people they support get a leg up and pointed in the right direction.
“That’s the thing I’ve seen time and again that BACI does – they give people the opportunity to do well,” says Tony.
“I’ll be honest, some (agencies) tend to pass the buck – and the thing I like about (BACI) is they don’t pass the buck,” he adds. “When someone comes to them with a problem or they have a situation, (BACI) takes it on.”
The residential and employment services provided by BACI, for example, are helping the individuals they support realize their hopes and dreams.
Through BACI’s Employment and Supported Training (BEST) program, the team engages each individual’s goal by developing their skills and finding fitting jobs.
“They’re not referring someone to an employment agency,” says Tony. “They’re trying to help them get employed.”
Other individuals have been looking for a home to call their own.
“I’ve seen people who have never had their own apartment, and now they have their own apartment for the first time in their life,” Tony says.
The people BACI supports are empowered by having a decent place of their own, says Tony.
“I know of one individual, for instance, in his mid-40s and this was his first apartment – the first place of his own that he could go in, lock the door and someone had to knock on the door to come into his place,” he says.
The individual built upon that momentum and found a part-time job at a retail outlet.
It goes to show how a little support can get the ball rolling and lead people on to achieving their goals.
But the key is that BACI is committed to helping everyone.
“They don’t leave anyone hanging,” says Tony. “They’re going to take it on, make sure that this person gets pointed in the right direction.”
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