Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association
The Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association (CNHA) is made up of 100 members, & runs almost entirely on volunteer labour. We are both a Community Resource Centre and a Youth Centre. In essence, though, the CNHA is an association of “neighbours helping neighbours” — financed by donations, and run on volunteer spirit.
In 1997, the Cowichan Neighbourhood House moved into the Old Chemainus Fire Hall, located at 9796 Willow Street in Chemainus, BC, across from Water Wheel Park, and a few doors down from the Seniors’ Centre & the Harvest House Food Bank (see transit schedule). It is from the Fire Hall that we run our Community Resource Centre and Youth Activities.
Many thousands of volunteer hours and generous donations have been spent fixing up the Old Chemainus Fire Hall to create a warm and welcoming space. The main youth drop-in space is filled with numerous activities and equipment including computers (free internet access), pool tables, foosball tables, air hockey table and a ping pong table. As well, there are some comfy couches and a place to play Wii.
Downstairs also has a family resource room, counseling space as well as a wheelchair accessible washroom.
There is a gymnasium with a sound system upstairs large enough for workshops, concerts, and family events. The building also houses a large kitchen and two lounges, 2 TV sets with DVD players, a stereo, a piano, an organ, and a host of other resources for family and youth who need a place to go.
We rent our facilities for non-alcohol events. (See rental info).
Our Services & Activities:
Our mandate is 70% families & youth, and we hold activities for families, youth (ages 12 to 18), pre-school (literacy for ages 3 to 5), local First Nations (Penelakut, Halalt, & Snuw’uyulh), and others. We also have supports and resources for individuals experiencing financial hardship, mental health issues, homelessness, and educational needs.
We run many events and activities (see Events Calendar for this month), but our regular programs include: daily Youth drop-in, daily Adult drop in, Free Store (free food, clothing, household supplies, etc), workshops, healthy food classes, pre-school literacy, new immigrant literacy, and special cultural activities for youth & families. Our services extend well beyond recreational activities for families & youth and include social services to the community. We also operate joint projects and share our resources with over 20 partner organizations to address community needs.
The CNHA is community resource and youth centre in Chemainus BC, providing free educational and recreational activities for families and youth, as well as free resources to those in need. We are currently located at the Old Chemainus Fire Hall.
We run many events and activities, but our regular ones include: daily Youth drop-in, daily Adult drop in, Free Store (free food, clothing, household supplies, etc), workshops, healthy food classes, pre-school literacy, new immigrant literacy, and special cultural activities for youth & families.
We also operate joint projects and share our resources with over 20 partner organizations to address community needs and interests.
Check out the Cowichan Neighbourhood House’s Facebook page to get up to the hour updates on events.
We run almost entirely on volunteer labour, and have only one half-time staff person to act as our Program Coordinator, and occasionally a Summer Student. If you were to count the unpaid volunteer hours over the past 5 years, CNHA volunteers have put in the equivalent over $500,000 of in-kind service from free volunteer hours, based on minimum wage — all at no cost to taxpayers and donors.
Our philosophy is summarized in our motto, which is “neighbours helping neighbours.” We do not to treat participants as “clients” or “customers”, but as fellow “neighbours”. Many individuals and families who are helped by our organization become involved as members, volunteers, Board members, or donors.
The Cowichan Neighbourhood House is a non-profit volunteer organization, which means we depend on community members like you to exist. Simply put, the CNHA is us – its members, volunteers and its network of community supporters. You can get involved by attending meetings, joining a committee, volunteering, becoming a member, or by simply participating in our many family and youth activities. If you cannot help by participating, we would greatly appreciate any donation you can provide (furniture, food, clothing, computers, money, etc.). For information, please see our donations page.
We would like to in particular thank our local service organizations The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #191, The Rotary Club, Chemainus, Chamber of Commerce, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles for their valuable and meaningful support for our programs. Many local businesses have supported us, including the Coastal Community Spirit Fund. We are a United Way Member Agency.
NOTE: Would you like to receive regular email updates from the CNHA? Please email us to join our member or volunteer list: cnhaoffice (at) gmail.com
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Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association
9806 Willow Street, Box 457
Chemainus, BC, V0R 1K0
E-mail: cnhaoffice (at) gmail.com
Located in North Cowichan, on Vancouver Island. We are a non-profit volunteer run organization
providing community, youth, and family activities, resources & services for
Chemainus, Crofton, Duncan, Ladysmith, Saltair, Penelakut,
and other areas in the Cowichan Valley.