Anybody who has been through times of crisis knows that the support of a community that understands what you’re going through can be transformative and lead to a quality of life one might not have ever dreamed of.
For 20 years, The Aboriginal Mother Centre Society (AMCS) has been a safe space where Aboriginal mothers facing homelessness can come to stay and be together as a family. Here, among a like-minded and culturally sensitive community, women can rebuild their sense of self-worth and identity for a better future for themselves and their children. Grounded in a grassroots setting and strengthened by community-minded programming, AMCS empowers Aboriginal mothers to transform their lives.
Under One Roof
Executive Director Deborah Baker shares that AMCS began in February 2002 to address the needs of Aboriginal women. Located in the east end of Vancouver, the centre is home to 16 transformational housing suites, a licensed daycare, a commercial kitchen, a large dining room, programming and office space, and commercial leasing spaces.
The Transformational Housing Program offers 16 newly renovated suites for Indigenous mothers and up to three of their children under the age of nine.
This program keeps families together, ensuring that mothers and their children are safe and secure in an environment that is invested in supporting their positive growth. Each Thursday, mothers assist with the Elders Program, made possible through the AMCS Kitchen.
The Kitchen offers nutritious meals, a sense of community, and job training opportunities for the local Aboriginal community members, but more than anything, it is a safe and dry place where community members can gather and feel like they belong. Mothers connect and engage with Elders while helping with serving food and care packages. Through these weekly events, program leaders have seen wonderful bonds bloom between mothers and Elders, strengthening cultural values and bringing joy to everyone involved.
Transformational Housing residents also have access to Family Wellness programs such as parenting workshops, housing and resources workshops, life skills workshops, and self-care workshops, all designed to enhance and enrich their skills and abilities as parents.
Keeping its focus on healing and empowering families, AMCS provides an integrated, high-quality, and culturally enriched childcare service. Children learn about Indigenous culture, values, traditions, and languages in a nurturing, safe, and fun learning environment that reflects the values, interests, and needs of the children, their families, and the community.
No two days are the same; experienced and qualified Early Childhood Educators lead children through play-based learning, age-appropriate activities to promote healthy development, circle time, and plenty of outdoor play.
AMCS provides support, tools, and the resources a mother needs to rebuild her health, wellbeing, and skills to regain and retain her child. With the help of programming designed to nurture children and families to become vital members of their communities, AMCS provides an environment where Aboriginal mothers and their children thrive in an equitable and supportive community rich in cultural and holistic values.
With a range of transformational programs all under one roof, the AMCS Board and staff support families in their goals to achieve self-sufficiency and cultural reconnection, with much gratitude toward funders and donations.