Eden East’s Positive Living Program is making a comeback after total silence for over a year.
The organization went through some changes many months ago which resulted in the disappearance of the program as well as its funding. However, that absence did not go unnoticed.
According to the new activity planner, Jackie Kehler, the program has always specialized in providing a space for people with mental illness to meet one another and form relationships. When it collapsed, it left a hole in many people’s social lives.
Now, through activities like coffee times, cooking classes, and the occasional meal, those friendships are forming afresh.
“Those who live with mental health issues have a tendency to isolate themselves,” says Kehler, explaining the need for the program in Steinbach, “and what we want to do is draw people out from their cocoons by creating community connections with their peers.”
This second chapter of the Positive Living Program is still in its infancy, but Kehler says it is already experiencing major success.
“There is a revitalization of people who used to come through the program who are waking through our doors again, happy to have that renewed sense of connection with other people that they had established and then lost over the year.”
For the month of October, Kehler has formed a special partnership with Steinbach Community Outreach in an effort to advertise her programming to low-income families. The two not-for-profits are offering a free soup lunch from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM every Tuesday until November. While the lunches take place at Outreach, Kehler specifies that Eden East is located at 21 Loewen Boulevard and is always open to new guests.