Funding cuts force Men’s Society to close Duncan office

The West Coast Men’s Support Society is going “virtual” once again due to lack of provincial and local funding.

The West Coast Men’s Support Society is going “virtual” once again due to lack of provincial and local funding.

Board member Grant Waldman said May 18 that, “Originally we were getting it [funding] from the gaming commission but we’ve been dropped. We tried to re-approach them, repositioning ourselves and asked for support from some other organizations as well,” he said.

But, for Waldman himself, it’s time for new eyes on the problem.

“At this point, it’s been all on my shoulders and now I’m moving along in my career. I guess someone else is going to have to step up if they want the organization to continue,” he said.

By going virtual, Waldman means the website and the phone number (250-597-2801) are still active.

“But, right now the board is going to have to need to be following up with any calls and enquiries. We’ll take it step by step,” he said.

It has been nearly four years since WCM opened their doors on the second floor of Duncan’s Merchant Building, inviting guys to come in and talk, man to man, about all kinds of problems.

Mental health, physical health, relationship troubles: the group has tackled them all, offering advice and a unique kind of support.

Programs like the Fire & Bones mentoring program for teenagers in local schools, and an annual outdoor Rites of Passage Weekend are designed to open pathways to finding respect and better understanding of the problems facing men in the world today, Waldman said.

In addition to offering one-on-one peer counselling, WCM also received referrals from other local organizations.

But, despite the cuts and retrenchment, one program, the Men’s Circle, is still in great shape, according to Waldman.

It runs every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Hub on Koksilah Road in Cowichan Station.

Check out www.westcoastmen.org if you are interested in helping out with the reorganization of the society.