New management; new beginnings

Upper Room Mission welcomes neighbours, community to open discussion

Upper Room Mission General Manager, Naomi Rouck, speaks to neighbours during an open house from December 5, 2019.

The new Upper Room Mission management team met with neighbours to discuss how best to build relationships and support each other.

Neighbours of the Upper Room Mission met the new URM management team Mission Thursday, Dec. 5 for an open discussion on the non-profit’s role in the community.

Naomi Rouck, general manager, alongside outreach manager Jennifer Edwards and Chaplain Dave Bootsma, stressed the importance of new programming that furthers the organization’s dedication to supporting all who access the Mission.

“The Upper Room Mission is a place where everyone is welcome. We serve low-income families, seniors, and anyone in need of a meal or a sense of community,” Rouck said. “One of my main goals is to make sure that this place is safe for everyone that comes through our doors.”

In addition to the holiday decorations that fill the dining hall, a new play area has been implemented to provide further benefit to the many families that use the Mission.  An initiative of Edwards, the kids’ corner allows families the opportunity to access services while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere. The kids can read or play games while the parents get groceries and talk to the outreach team about what services can benefit their entire family.

 Another new initiative comes in the form of a senior’s corner — an information centre where seniors can learn about the resources available to them in the Greater Vernon area.

Community members from the Downtown Vernon Association, neighbouring seniors’ facilities, Vernon bylaw officers and Mayor Victor Cumming were in attendance.

“Whether it’s a person experiencing homelessness here for a warm meal, or a senior who comes to collect free bread and vegetables to take home, or the young family that comes for the sense of community, our doors are always open,” Rouck said. “Everyone is welcome at the Upper Room Mission.

The Mission is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.