KAMLOOPS - Allan De Genova has a message to military families and emergency workers dealing with PTSD — hang on.
With $1 million in new funding from the province, the president of the Honour House society is excited, and says the money will save people. The funds will go towards infrastructure upgrades and programming at the Honour Ranch near Heffley Creek, a new facility helping first responders and soldiers work through post traumatic stress disorder.
“This $1 million will actually save lives,” he says. “We were having to do it in bits and pieces and I wasn’t able to get all programming in place. With that, now, it’s made a tremendous impact.”
He hopes to have the facility up and running in the fall, with new cottages, sewers, a gazebo and other items to get it up to code. The Thompson Nicola Regional District, where the ranch is located, has been helpful in zoning issues, and De Genova is especially thankful to the provincial government with the new funds and after the help the organization received getting the Honour House in Vancouver set up.
READ MORE: Honour Ranch will provide refuge for those suffering after serving our country
It’s not just government stepping up. De Genova says Tolko Industries, which runs a mill in Heffley Creek near the ranch, has donated materials to the project, allowing the organization to stretch the funding and donations even further.
In turn, this means it’s coming together faster and people in need will be able to visit the ranch sooner, rather than later, which will offer a safe haven and programs to help work through the PTSD.
Because of the recent funding, De Genova says he’s focusing on completing the Honour Ranch right now, but similar projects to the house and ranch are being looked at in Ottawa, Halifax and Winnipeg.
“The list is so long it’s unbelievable, they need the help so badly,” he says. “I’ve got some people on the edge and they’re just hanging on, waiting for this.”
And for those in the community looking for help, he says it’s coming, soon.
“They know that there’s hope now for them, where there wasn’t a year ago,” he says. “To the ones that read this and are struggling to hang on, help is coming."
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