This past year 2016/17 at the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society has quickly flown by and we have had many successes. AMCS is very proud to report that since the doors re-opened after the huge renovation in 2012, there have been 185 mothers residing at TH with 284 children. There have also been 52 reunifications with mom and children, and 96 extended overnight visits take place between mothers and their children. The overnight extended visits are important to highlight for our progress, as they are the first step in the reunification process for moms and children. Over the past year we’ve also had many visitors come through our doors, with the farthest visitors arriving from Liechtenstein; as the Maria Marina Foundation Board of Directors came for a site visit last summer and their board members are pictured above. This past week we have another site visit from the Maria Marina Foundation Executive Director, Ms. Nicole Matte, and we continue to be very proud to showcase the great work the staff are doing at AMCS. Transformational Housing has 16 units of housing for young parenting Indigenous mothers and up to three of her children under age 9 years old. At present the units are full and we have a working wait list. Currently, we have 1 newborn baby and five babies under 4 years old. We are also very excited to receive two more newborn babies as we have 2 expectant mothers living at TH. Last year, Mr. Michael Sadler from BC Housing introduced AMCS to the wonderful opportunity of working with Lift Philanthropy to help build capacity, leverage funding and increase partnerships with AMCS to build a strong and sustainable organization. To this end, Lift recently conducted an Organizational, Capacity and Assessment (OCA) exercise with the AMCS Managers and Lift will now be engaging with the AMCS Board of Directors to conduct the OCA as the next step in the process. AMCS looks forward to the new, exciting initiative with Lift Philanthropy. AMCS is also closely working with BC Housing as we discuss concrete plans for Phase II programming. This work is in the beginning stages and AMCS will have more to report as we progress along the way forward. Last summer I travelled with two board members and two other volunteers to visit an American program called “Shields for Families” as apparently it is the most like AMCS of its kind and helps to inform Phase II development. Last Fall, AMCS introduced a new program to the residents called the Employment and Training program which was funded by the federal government. The funding was recently reallocated whereby we must apply directly to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. AMCS is in the midst of applying for the renewal of the Employment and Training program which is housed at 2012 Wall Street. We are constantly applying for as many grants as we can find and received great news yesterday that our AHIP funding is secured. We submitted a New Horizons for Seniors proposal also this week. The AMCS volunteer Fundraising Committee has decided to move the next AMCS Fundraiser Gala Event to the Spring of 2018. Stay posted for more details as they become available; we already have some great sponsors and are looking forward to the event. AMCS hired the Inspired Human Resource Management Consulting firm in February 2017; they recently completed a staff survey and a draft HR Review. Next steps will be to assist management and with some administrative duties related to HR and recruitment for new positions as well
as an overhaul of AMCS Policies and Procedures. The AMCS Daycare continues to run at full capacity with 25 children enrolled full-time in the Daycare for children aged 3-5 years old. AMCS hosted an Open house in December 2016 to introduce the Employment and Training program to the community. It was well represented and had beautiful songs from the daycare children and from Nathaniel Arcand who lead a sing along session with all. Christmas at the AMCS is always a fun time as there are so many generous donations and well wishers at the Centre. This year the First Nations Health Authority once again donated their time and resources to come and wrap the donated gifts at the centre to ensure that all the Moms and children received gifts at Christmas time and a visit from Santa Claus. AMCS continues to build a positive relationship with various partners especially with Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society and their cadre of social workers. We also have relationships with several of the neighborhood houses, Vancouver Coastal Health, Luma Native Housing, Aboriginal Housing Management Association, the United Way, Builders Without Borders, the city of Vancouver, BC Association of Friendship Centres, Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council, and many others. Since the close of this fiscal year, March 31, 2017, the AMCS has taken on a new challenge of property management for the 28,000-square foot facility. We are currently seeking tenants for two of our units and are working with Prompton Real Estate company to help us achieve our goal of in-house property management. Our AMCS Elder Aline LaFlamme has returned to AMCS with her drum group Daughters of the Drum and the residents are gladly joining in with her drum group. She is currently in the hospital recovering from hip replacement surgery; she sends her best wishes for a successful AGM. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the AMCS staff for the various contributions you make to ensuring that our programs are the best. It has been a pleasure serving as your Executive Director since September 2015 and I wish you all the very best for a warm and relaxing Summer 2017.