Perfect gift for mom? Self-care strategies, say mothers at local women’s shelter

While most mothers prepare to receive flowers and greeting cards this Mother’s Day, women at Springhouse – an emergency shelter and 2nd stage housing complex for women and women-led families – will soon be offered a workshop on self-care, where they will learn strategies for maintaining their own emotional, physical and spiritual health and well-being.

The workshop is made possible by support from mCentred, a non-profit association of mothers who are committed to investing in their own personal and professional growth, and in their community. Since 2012 mCentred has given over $25,000 to Springhouse, a low-barrier, home-like environment for women dealing with mental health challenges, addictions, trauma and family breakdown. Springhouse helps women-led families stay together as they find permanent housing.

“When we asked our residents what kinds of programs they would really benefit from, they told us self-care was important,” said Justine Little, Coordinator for Women’s and Children’s Programs with The Bloom Group, the community organization that operates Springhouse.

“We take a strengths-based approach in our work,” added Little, “so helping women develop the skills they need to look after themselves when stressors arise is incredibly important.” Residents at Springhouse are empowered to seek out the support they need most, Little says. “It is great that, with donations from mCentred, staff can provide a special program that residents have themselves envisioned.” The workshop is currently in development, and will be offered later this spring.

The needs of women and children who are at risk of homelessness, like the families served by Springhouse, were given renewed focus with the recent release of preliminary findings from the 2014 Metro Vancouver homeless count. Staff at The Bloom Group said the decrease in women’s homelessness noted in the report shows that investments in women-only spaces and programs, are paying off.

mCentred members agree. Through the close relationship they have forged at Springhouse, they have funded valuable programs for women and their children, and have seen firsthand the impact their gifts are making. Past programs include a parenting workshop and a media literacy program for youth. Recognizing the value of the strong networks and resources they are able to access, mCentred members are driven by their desire to help other mothers develop their own skills and support systems, and build better lives for themselves and their children. As such, mCentred members give 100 per cent of their member fees to Springhouse, which totalled over $12,000 last year.

Said mCentred chairperson Kathleen Negraeff, “We can and should be doing all we can to help mothers in our community succeed.”

Available for comment:
Justine Little – Program Coordinator for Women’s and Children’s Programs, The Bloom Group
Kathleen Negraeff – Chairperson, mCentred

For more information, contact:
Natalie Hill – Marketing and Communications
Manager, The Bloom Group
604 606 0302; nhill@thebloomgroup.org