Forward House Special Projects and Programs

Forward House in Qualicum Beach

Our pilot project, Forward House Fridays, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Qualicum Commons, was a huge success! Our Outreach Worker, Doreen 'Coco' Littlejohn and her team of volunteers visited businesses, churches, and other service agencies to ensure we meet the needs of the community in Qualicum Beach. We are enjoying sharing the office with the Division of Family Practice.

We are happy to announce that we have expanded our work in Qualicum Beach to two days as of April 1st:

Thursdays - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at St. Stephen’s Church (150 Village Way) in their ‘old lounge’ upstairs.

Fridays - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Qualicum Commons (744 Primrose St.) in room 8.

A special thanks to the Town of Qualicum Beach, School District 69, Parks West Business Products, Qualicum Beach Pharmasave, Qualicum Foods, St. Mark's Church, Christian Fellowship Centre, St. Stephen’s United Church, and several community members for their most generous support of this outreach initiative.

Questions? Email us at outreach1@forwardhouse.com


Oceanside Outreach Program

Forward House and Island Crisis Care Society have received $75,000 from the Community Action Initiative to implement the Oceanside Outreach Program from November 2018 to August 2019. Through this initiative, we are providing two non-clinical Outreach Workers, several Peer Support Workers, community education around mental health and addiction, and harm reduction supports. We are so thankful to be able to offer responsive and preventative action at a time when mental health and addiction issues are so prevalent in our province.

Our Outreach Workers, Kevin and Christine, are out and about in the community seven days a week to help individuals connect with services and resources, and, with the help of several Peer Support Workers, will provide support and encouragement as needed.

In March, our team embarked upon a speaking tour which is providing important information and answering questions our community have around mental health and addiction. We hope to be able to visit all parts of the Oceanside region. The first “Taking Community to Heart: One Journey at a Time” presentation took place at Knox United Church with 30 participants. We heard the inspiring story of a resident who struggled with addiction and then homelessness, and who is now housed and thriving in our community due to the care and compassion of many community organizations and individuals.

Our team will also be working closely with the Oceanside Harm Reduction Committee and the Housing Outreach Support Team (HOST) to support local harm reduction strategies and access to supportive housing.

To connect with our Outreach Workers, please leave a message at 250-947-5096; they will return your call within 24 hours.

Our Outreach Planning Committee consists of local physicians, nurses, clinical Mental Health Workers, local service providers, and people with lived experience. We are committed to creating a comprehensive network of service providers where barriers to service are minimized. Thanks to everyone who has stepped up to make a difference in our community.

A very big thanks to the Community Action Initiative, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, and the Overdose Emergency Response Centre for their financial support, which has made this project possible. Thanks also to the Oceanside Harm Reduction Committee for additional financial support.


2019-2020 Art Calendar

We are very excited to be working on a new Forward House Art Calendar. Our talented artists are busy creating new mixed media art pieces to be included. Painting, collage, tapestry, photography, drawing, poetry, and jewelry pieces will be photographed and displayed in a 16-month calendar that beings September 2019 and ends December 2020. We hope to launch the calendar at our Annual General Meeting on June 18th, 2019. Click here to see samples of art from past calendars. Thank you to the Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation for funding support for this project.


‘Looking Forward to Giving Back’ Employment Program

Forward House and the Career Centre are partnering to ensure that our clients experiencing mental health challenges have easy access to job search and job maintenance supports in Oceanside. Thanks to an Island Health Community Wellness Grant, we were able to implement the ‘Looking Forward to Giving Back’ program from June 2018 to March 2019.

A Career Centre Job Developer visited Forward House for three hours per week, in three ten-week sessions, to deliver group workshops and one-to-one sessions with clients. Between visits, one of our Client Support Workers provided individualized support to help clients achieve their goals and follow up on action items. Participant outcomes of this project included increased self-esteem and self-confidence, enhanced job search and job maintenance skills, increased personal awareness, greater connection to the Career Centre, and employment and volunteer opportunities in our community.

Although the funding for this initiative has ended, we are committed to continuing building on our relationship with the Career Centre and helping clients give back to the Oceanside community.


‘Moving Forward with Accessibility’ Project

Phase Two is done! We have a brand new, fully accessible  bathroom.Thanks to the Regional District of Nanaimo for their support through a Grant-in-Aid, and to all four local Rotary clubs for their generous support. For more information and pictures of the first two phases of this project, click here.

We are currently raising funds for Phase Three, which will involve creating a fully accessible front yard and entrance way, and will also create more usable, quiet spaces for our constantly expanding Forward House family. Recent donations of a beautiful bench and a concrete pad have allowed us to launch the first steps of this phase. See the above link for more information and pictures of Phase Three.’