So in case you didn't know, The Art Studios has received a donation to keep their doors open until March 31st, 2014 after a previous announcement they were to close August 7th, 2013.
The members were told that conversations had happened behind closed doors and a foundation or group donated the monies to Vancouver Coastal Health designated for The Art Studios, a renowned rehabilitation program in Canada. The members were very thankful but still had questions.
When the announcement was made, there was a pause of relief, joy and gratitude until members spoke out again about their fears around the instability of this service. Members still reeling from news of closure were now responding to the latest news.
The question was, "Will we go through the same painful crisis in March that we just went through?" The response was that this next term will be different. There will be more time to figure out a game plan than the two months to closing deadline we had earlier. The staff and members are willing to hopefully work with the anonymous donor and/or find other funding outside of Vancouver Coastal Health. The objective is to maintain long term funding to decrease the uncertainty and instability experienced by members and staff.
The Vancouver Recovery Through Art Society was first launched to aid The Art Studios in fundraising, advocacy and related projects. This society would like to work with possible donors to help keep The Art Studios open and maintain their present location.
It is important to recognize because the members are a vulnerable population, that occupational therapists and/or rehabilitation workers are necessary to run this program. We need people in charge who can handle conflict resolution, problems that come up, screen clients, and administer the program. The current staff at The Art Studios are very competent and one of the conditions of the donation is that the coordinator stay on.
I can remember saying to my mental health worker that it would be awful for the staff to be let go from The Art Studios after all their hard work and dedication. "The closure of The Art Studios would set us back 20 years in community care," I said. "Why close the program, end their jobs and let them go? Is that how you reward excellence?"