Family Outreach Initiative
Niagara Military Family Support Centre
The members of this symposium supported the establishment of a regional contact centre for members of the military community, past and present, living in the Niagara Region. The purpose of the centre is to provide a local location at which service providers could meet in confidentiality with members of the military community on an as needed basis.
After consideration of different sites, Branch 479 – Niagara Falls, Royal Canadian Legion offered an ideal location within the Legion building, which would meet the needs as described. This facility is equipped with lounge furniture, desk, telephone, computer and resource tables and materials. In addition to a resource and meeting room the NMFRC is used as a drop in facility for veterans. It is accessible through a separate access apart from the normal Legion bar and social rooms.
The facility, now designated as the Niagara Military Family Resource Centre, (NMFRC), has been established as a confidential meeting room for Veterans and Military Families and as a meeting/contact location for service agencies and members of the military community. It is open to all needing assistance in processing any inquiry to various government and social agencies and as a location where service providers can meet confidentially with clients.
A schedule has been established whereby MFRC London, OSISS and/or Veterans Affairs personnel attend two Mondays each month to meet with anyone requesting assistance.
Individual appointments may be booked on an as-needed basis and Legion Service Officers operate contact referral telephones throughout the day. In addition, emergency contact numbers are provided whenever requested or recommended.
Monthly reports on the success of the program are provided verbally to the GCC-N Steering Committee. Confidentiality of military family members is strictly enforced.
Currently means of reaching out to the extended military family are being investigated to expand the service to provide support to Regular Force Families living in the Niagara Region, with family members serving the Canadian Armed Forces at more distant locations.
A Meet and Greet is scheduled for Monday evening March 19, 2012, from 4 – 6 PM.