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CONCURRENT WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM

In addition to regular volunteer positions in the thrift store for community members,  Treasures also offers a unique opportunity for individuals  living with mental health issues who are at a stage in their recovery where they are ready to reintegrate with the community and participate in a volunteer Work Experience Program.  This volunteer Work Experience Program gives program participants an opportunity to work alongside volunteer job coaches from the community in all aspects of the store’s operation. Our program participants, while engaged in meaningful and useful work, are able to gain new skills, find peer support and build relationships interacting with co-workers and customers.

Participation in the Work Experience Program provides many individuals dealing with mental illness with a path to recovery enabling them to set their own goals, re-build their confidence, gain a sense of purpose, and enrich their quality of life.

At Treasures, Work Experience Participants  are guided by volunteer Job Coaches and learn transferable work skills while learning or relearning social and interpersonal skills. Participation in the program provides many individuals dealing with mental illness with a path to recovery enabling them to set their own goals, re-build their confidence, gain a sense of purpose, and enrich their quality of life. Treasures offers people a place to belong, where they are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to empower and support each person in reaching for a full and satisfying life.

Treasures endeavours to be a community place where people of all backgrounds gather to shop, gain work skills, and develop relationships.  We provide a unique experience in which community volunteer job coaches  and people with mental health needs work co-operatively in many aspects of the store’s operation.  Program Participants gain a sense of wellbeing while learning new skills, building social relationships and sharing mutual experiences. The community gains an understanding and acceptance of mental illness through education material we provide as well as interactions with clients in the store. Individuals and families of limited means in the community have access to clothing and household items at reasonable prices.   Treasures is an example of environmentally friendly enterprise where the principals of reduce, reuse and recycle apply every day.

As a social enterprise benefiting people with mental illness Treasures Charity Thrift Store is unique in the community. There are other thrift shops in our community but none provide specific rehabilitation opportunities for people with mental health issues like Treasures. Mental health agencies and service providers in the community offer social rec programs, support groups and psycho-education programs but none offer a hands on work opportunity like Treasures. Treasures alone fills that niche.