Hope seniors have a new place to call home

Volunteer and Office Manager Sharlene Harrisen-Hinds is at the helm of the Hope Senior's Peer Counsellors Society and its bright future

Volunteer and Office Manager Sharlene Harrisen-Hinds gives a grand tour of HSPC's new digs.

The Hope Senior’s Peer Counsellors Society (HSPCS) has a new home on Wallace Street (located at 434 in the Hope Community Services building.)

The bright, shiny, and spacious office has a counselling room, main office and a kitchen for staff and guests.

Volunteer and office manager Sharlene-Harrisen-Hinds, couldn’t be more thrilled or happy, as she animatedly told The Hope Standard about the importance of making her clients feel welcome and at home. The new space promises to give them a safe environment to voice their concerns, or glean some  much needed advice.

The space which boasts a few sky lights, is warm and inviting and offers seniors and visitors the opportunity to discover their rights, opportunities, and the various services available to them; whether, it be legal, personal, emotional, financial or health related.

“People are often not aware of their rights — it’s about education,” said Hinds, who goes above and beyond the call of duty to help those in need here in Hope. “If we can’t do something about it, we can make arrangements.”

The government is steadily moving toward the digitization of all formal documentation, which poses a problem for many seniors according to Hinds, and that’s where her services come into play. “They are doing a huge disservice to the community with their quest for efficiency,” she said.“It’s about having compassion and empathy.” Those are required traits when working with golden-agers in the community and providing a necessary service that gives seniors the respect, dignity, and opportunity to have their needs met, whatever they may be, according to the group’s philosophy.

“It’s about providing access,” said Hinds. “A lot of seniors have a lack of access to government agencies, or they are dealing with failing eyesight and can’t see the little boxes on the forms that they have to fill out — there has to be a different method of delivery.”

The Society helps to circumvent the disparity local seniors are faced with on a daily basis, by dotting some of the I’s and crossing some of the T’s.

It also acts as a facilitator to connect seniors with other organizations in the community that can be of benefit.

Connectivity is what the organization strives to do, which is in sync with their motto “Everyone needs a little help sometimes.” The office is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and she strongly encourages all seniors to access their services. For more information please call the office at 604-860-0708.