B.C. ranch to offer refuge for veterans, first responders with mental illness

B.C. ranch to offer refuge for veterans, first responders with mental illness

Facility in Ashcroft will hold ceremonial launch Oct. 5 and start offering services next year

A new safe haven for first responders and military veterans will soon be open in Ashcroft, B.C., to provide critical mental health support and services to the community at large.

Honour Ranch will hold a ceremonial launch on Oct. 5 ahead of its official launch next year.

“We’ll start treatment in early 2020,” said honourary colonel Allan De Genova, also the president and founder of Honour House Society. “The main lodge is ready and we’ll be working towards another 10 cottages.”

Until then, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and various professionals will continue to set up programs for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.

De Genova said he was inspired to start the ranch by his friend, veteran Joseph Allina, who completed three tours in Afghanistan but committed suicide last July. Allina’s partner, a Surrey RCMP officer, will be there for the launch on Oct. 5.

“If I would have had Honour Ranch up and running, I would have saved Joe,” he said. “I feel bad about that and so Joe is truly my inspiration behind getting this ranch up and running. I think about him every day and I’ve been pushing to get here.”

ALSO READ: First responders mosaic helps Ashcroft and Cache-Creek heal through art

During a ceremony the week prior, he said a local RCMP officer approached him and described how desperately he needs the facility to open.

“He said ‘I will be there.” I couldn’t believe it,” De Genova said, feeling more inspired than ever to continue his mission to help other veterans and first responders recover and thrive.

He said he sympathized with Ashcroft and Cache Creek residents’ recent adversities, including wildfires, floods, mudslides, and even losing a fire chief.

“I can see it and feel it, like all of you, and I think this ranch will really help the greater community and all of British Columbia,” he said. “All of our first responders and military are a family and we need to look after them because they’re there to look after you virtually every day, 24/7.”

Honour House opened in 2011 in New Westminster, offering free lodging to first responders and armed forces members who required medical treatment and care. Honour Ranch itself sits on a 120-acre property south of Ashcroft.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Person experiencing homelessness. (Black Press Media file photo)
Program preventing youth homelessness launches in Kelowna

Upstream Project’s goal is to help young people become more resilient

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged with criminal negligence in Coquihalla crash is accused of ignoring smoking brakes

Just before the crash the smoking truck seen entering Zopkios brake check and leaving shortly after

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A webinar on dealing with dementia will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (Submitted)
Webinar on dementia scheduled for March 10

Okanagan residents invited to event on legal issues surrounding dementia

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read