The Aviva Community Fund has helped raise:


The 2014 Aviva Community Fund is complete.

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ACF13562 Higher Ground Wellness Society Port Coquitlam, BC

Created September 24, 2012 by Erin Styles


Port Coquitlam, BC

Funding Level

$50k - $100k (< 2014)

Community Size

More than 1,000


Removing Barriers to Stand Firm!

STAND FIRM ON HIGHER GROUND is a new initiative that fills the often missing link of removing barriers that can keep people in the cycle of addiction, and other types of brokenness, and prevent them from becoming effective members of their community.  We work with those who have achieved mental and physical stability and are now ready to make that final step back into society as healthy and valuable residents.  It is our mission to continue walking alongside these individuals, offering all supports, (emotional, physical, and societal), until they have made a full return to their community by establishing themselves as capable and responsible citizens.  Our commitment is to offer one-on-one assistance for up to 2 years.

Many recovery programs are doing an excellent job at reaching out and bringing people into the recovery process.  Through these early stages they restore dignity for each individual by providing their basic needs: food, shelter, safety, and acceptance.  It’s not until a person begins to feel a sense of belonging, self-worth, and purpose that they are ready to focus on their future.  Unfortunately, due to lack of funding and resources, most programs are unable to work closely with their clients once they’ve reached this stage.  While some are already equipped from their past to make this major life transition on their own, most are not.  They have no idea where to start, where to go, or even what to do. 

Stand Firm is a part of the Higher Ground Wellness Society (HGWS).  Despite obtaining official charity status just this year, we have been offering our key services in the Tri-Cities, (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody), since 1999.  Services include:  Food Bank, Clothing Co-Op, Soup Kitchen, Counselling, 12-Step Classes, Tutoring for GED, and now the Stand Firm on Higher Ground LIFE SKILLS classes.  “We need to be willing to reach behind us and help lift those who are one step behind us on our journey to Higher Ground.”

Stand Firm on Higher Ground is a 10 week course that teaches life skills to individuals making major life changes to become positive and successful members of their community.  Everyone is welcome no matter what their story is.  While most of our clients are from treatment and half-way homes, we have also engaged with local residents struggling with other types of difficult changes in their life.  The program is divided between five 2 week modules all built on a foundation of wellness in each of the areas of our focus:
  • Emotional and Mental Wellness
  • Physical Wellness
  • Spiritual Wellness
  • Relational Wellness
  • Functional Wellness

We are very blessed to have many professionals from our community volunteering their time to come teach on their specialty!   Our students have had the awesome experience of learning from a Nutritionist, Biology Science Teacher, Recreational Therapist, Child Development Worker, Assistant to a Member of Parliment, High School Teacher, Personal Trainer, Entrepreneur, Pastor, Author, Artist, Financial Advisor

The uniqueness of the Stand Firm program is a commitment to work with the client for up to two years after the completion of the course for those who are facing societal or other barriers that may hinder their success and eventually pull them back into the cycle of dysfunction:
  • Personal coaching and practical application by setting up a personal one year development plan and check in plan with a mentor and counsellor
  • Tutoring to achieve their General Educational Development (GED) diploma, or assist in pursuing Post-Secondary education
  • Re-establishing identification (BCID, Birth certificate, Driver’s licence, etc.), and replace government cards (SIN, Care, etc)
  • Filing back taxes
  • Significant financial issues with creditors, government agencies, etc.
  • Opening a bank account with a community financial institution
  • Money management skills
  • Employment Skills to develop their resume, conduct job searching
  • Computer basics
  • Legal matters: child support, alimony, pending charges
  • Locate sustainable housing

We are proud to say that we graduated our first class in August 2012 (please see attached picture), and our second is already well underway with growing interest in the Tri-City area!

Since Higher Ground Wellness Society relies on private donations, STAND FIRM ON HIGHER GROUND needs to secure its own funding to ensure we can continue providing the degree of professional support we are promising our students.  We hope you will share in our passion of giving everyone a second chance!  This program has the potential to build a stronger and healthier community!