Epic Opportunities hosted a pair of open houses earlier this month to celebrate the completion of major renovations at two of its community-based locations.
On March 1, dozens of people served by Epic Opportunities, staff and corporate supporters attended celebrations at the agency’s 250 Goulet St. and 1745 Portage Ave. locations. The festivities were held to mark the official opening of two newly renovated resource spaces at the Epic Everyday day services venues.
These two resource spaces are part of an ongoing community-based focus of support for many of the people Epic Everyday serves. Everyone served by Epic Opportunities will be able to use the spaces throughout the week for various things like accessing personal schedules, conducting career searches, tapping into Career Exploration and Volunteer Services, heating up lunch on a cold day or attending self-development workshops hosted by Epic Everyday.
“These spaces will give people more resources to tap into so that we can see them succeed in whatever it is they set out to do,” says Donna Honke, Coordinator of Epic Opportunities’ 250 Goulet location. “Epic Everyday’s support team are focussed on a holistic wellness approach to service development as outlined in the five-year strategic plan.
“I think the additional space will benefit all those served by Epic Opportunities. People we support won’t feel boxed in like they might with the ‘traditional’ day service model. The idea with this ongoing direction is to support people to live their life in a natural way and with natural supports without feeling attached to a building.…and to focus on goals they have set for themselves.”
The open houses were the culmination of more than a year of planning and preparation by Epic Opportunities and High Road Property Services, which oversaw the renovations at both locations. The renovations were made possible thanks in part to a generous donation from Brett Young Seeds.
The 250 Goulet location now provides about 2,000 square feet of additional resource space and is located on the second floor of the building. The 1745 Portage location offers about 2,900 square feet of additional resource space and is situated in the building’s lower level. Both areas had to be gutted and completely rebuilt as part of the renovations.
Each of the two day service locations are completely accessible and offer computer access, food preparation, eating areas, meeting rooms and elevators. Employment Consultant Heidrun Bittner will be based out of the 250 Goulet Street location which Honke says will provide people of Epic Everyday with easier access to Epic’s Career Exploration Services.
Sarah Wake, Coordinator of 1745 Portage, says the idea is to have the two locations mirror one another so that people can access resources just as easily at either one.
“Both locations will be comparable in every way so it doesn’t really matter where you are in the city,” she says.
“The idea is for people to be able to get resources quicker when they need them. They will now have better access to more resources in one space. It’s all about giving people more options.”
Tricia, who is supported through Epic Opportunities’ Supported Independent Living (SIL) program, has visited the new space at 1745 Portage several times already and she likes what she’s seen.
“Oh yeah, I plan to use it a lot,” she says. “I like it because it’s quiet here. To me it’s like home. I feel like I’m always welcome here.”
Executive Director Ruby Reimer says planning for how the two locations will be fully utilized is still in progress as Epic Opportunities continues to look at individual needs and goals and how it can adapt to meet those needs.