A community support worker is now available at both libraries in Kamloops, and by phone and virtually, to listen to, and advocate for, people struggling with substance use and mental health issues, housing and employment challenges, and more.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) system has created the role as a way to reduce barriers to social services and help patrons access and navigate community resources.
Karlie Ferland is a community support worker intern, and she will help patrons navigate the agencies in their community and provides referrals. Ferland is there to provide information about different agencies and resources, connect to those resources, help people navigate the supports that best fit their needs, and provide supportive listening and advocacy.
Appointments are available in-person at both Kamloops library branches: downtown at Victoria Street and 5th Avenue, and in North Kamloops at 693 Tranquille Road. Phone and virtual appointments are also available, for those not able to attend at the Kamloops branches: they can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (250) 372-5145.
Ferland is also running a free drop-in program called Coffee and Conversations, which will be alternating between the Kamloops and North Kamloops libraries. The Coffee and Conversations program is a safe space where people can connect with each other and learn about resources that are available in the community. This program will take place from 10:30 a.m to noon on Feb. 18, Feb. 25, March 18, and March 25.
“I am so happy to be able to help library patrons one-on-one and through group conversations in our Coffee and Conversations program,” Ferland says. “Whether it’s navigating application processes and paperwork for income or disability assistance or just offering a listening ear, I am honoured to support our vulnerable patrons.”
Ferland has been serving as the TNRL’s community support worker intern since the fall of 2022. She is scheduled to be in the position until March 31 through a program funded by the federal government.
For more information on this program, visit www.tnrl.ca/community-support.
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