R.O.C.K. (Reach Out Chatham-Kent) announces the closure of its Wallaceburg drop-in centre, effective March 31st, 2024. This decision stems from unforeseen challenges, including a withdrawal in funding from the United Way of Chatham-Kent and the conclusion of the partnership with the 7 Generations Indigenous Cultural Friendship Centre (7GICFC), where the drop in centre is located.
R.O.C.K. has been committed to serving the community of Wallaceburg since 2019, providing street level outreach services distributing food, harm reduction supplies, and hygiene products to those experiencing homelessness or insecure housing.. R.O.C.K. currently serves 120 individuals each week in Wallaceburg through their outreach program, which will continue to operate once a week.
In 2022 the James St. Drop in Centre was opened in partnership with United Way of Chatham-Kent, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and Ska:Na Family Learning Centre. Since 2022, the drop in center has continued to grow alongside the needs in Wallaceburg. The centre moved into the 7GICFC building in November 2023, and currently serves 20-40 people per day. The drop in centre provides food, harm reduction supplies, hygiene products, community connection, and a safe, warm place to go 7 days a week.
Unfortunately, R.O.C.K. is in the challenging position of not having the financial resources within the budget to sustain the operation of the drop in centre in Wallaceburg. Currently, there is no alternative for the drop-in centre. For those who depend on the services provided on a daily basis, there will be a significant gap in support. It is crucial for them to have access to these essential services.
The community of Wallaceburg has always shown solid support for R.O.C.K. and the work that they do. The drop in centre is a vital resource in the community, offering physical and emotional support to the individuals it serves. R.O.C.K. is hoping that those in Wallaceburg will rally together once again and help in providing the funding that is needed to keep the doors of the drop in centre open for those who need it the most. Monetary donations can be made online here or in person at 39 Richmond Street in Chatham.
R.O.C.K. would like to express their gratitude to United Way of Chatham-Kent, Ska:Na Family Learning Centre and 7GICFC for their support over the years. Additionally, they extend their heartfelt appreciation to their dedicated staff, volunteers, and the community for their unwavering support since 2019.
During this difficult transition, R.O.C.K. remains committed to supporting the community through outreach services in Wallaceburg and Chatham, the Peer-2-Peer program, and by keeping the drop in centre in Chatham operating 5 days a week.