To celebrate Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, we’re sharing stories from our program participants, staff, and volunteers about what makes our House so special.
Here, Tammy, who attended preschool and youth programs at our House, describes what a difference it made to her life.
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House has always been a second home to me. My mum was a single mum, a refugee from Vietnam. She had to work often to support her family.
She would bring me here to the House, so I wouldn’t be aimless at home and end up only watching TV. This area and this community played a significant part in my life.
My brother started working in the youth programs here too, and started to gain a lot of skills. He became more involved with House programs and I watched him become a leader and a role model to my peers, which was inspirational.
Romy, our youth worker at the time, really pushed us. She saw potential in all of us, and I learned so much here.
I got so many great opportunities to learn new skills. I learned how to flip a canoe, how to chop wood, and received first aid and FOODSAFE certificates.
With all the skills and certificates I got from participating in the youth programs and volunteering, I was able to get my first job, as a sales representative at the mall.
The skills I learned here gave me an edge among teenagers. Although I’m not sure how the canoe certificate helped!
I went on to study English Language at UBC and work at the BC Women’s and BC Children’s Hospital.
Overall, House programs and volunteer experiences have been a huge part of my life. These experiences and opportunities have provided me with a foundation of life skills.
Today, Vancouver is becoming much bigger, especially East Vancouver. Neighbourhood Houses still provide so much to the community, in terms of support and learning new skills.
I believe that people find Neighbourhood Houses a significant and important place to find resources, a sense of community, to feel they have a home here. By participating at the House, they create something for themselves and for the community.
I’ve seen the House and the programs grow over the years. For example, the senior programs have become so huge, particularly the line dancing.
Every time I come in, I hear loud music playing in the big halls, and it’s most likely the seniors dancing and having a great time. I’m not in that part in my life yet—but who knows, maybe I’ll join them in the future!