B.C. ranch to offer refuge for veterans, first responders with mental illness

Facility in Ashcroft will hold ceremonial launch Oct. 5 and start offering services next year

A new safe haven for first responders and military veterans will soon be open in Ashcroft, B.C., to provide critical mental health support and services to the community at large.

Honour Ranch will hold a ceremonial launch on Oct. 5 ahead of its official launch next year.

“We’ll start treatment in early 2020,” said honourary colonel Allan De Genova, also the president and founder of Honour House Society. “The main lodge is ready and we’ll be working towards another 10 cottages.”

Until then, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and various professionals will continue to set up programs for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.

De Genova said he was inspired to start the ranch by his friend, veteran Joseph Allina, who completed three tours in Afghanistan but committed suicide last July. Allina’s partner, a Surrey RCMP officer, will be there for the launch on Oct. 5.

“If I would have had Honour Ranch up and running, I would have saved Joe,” he said. “I feel bad about that and so Joe is truly my inspiration behind getting this ranch up and running. I think about him every day and I’ve been pushing to get here.”

ALSO READ: First responders mosaic helps Ashcroft and Cache-Creek heal through art

During a ceremony the week prior, he said a local RCMP officer approached him and described how desperately he needs the facility to open.

“He said ‘I will be there.” I couldn’t believe it,” De Genova said, feeling more inspired than ever to continue his mission to help other veterans and first responders recover and thrive.

He said he sympathized with Ashcroft and Cache Creek residents’ recent adversities, including wildfires, floods, mudslides, and even losing a fire chief.

“I can see it and feel it, like all of you, and I think this ranch will really help the greater community and all of British Columbia,” he said. “All of our first responders and military are a family and we need to look after them because they’re there to look after you virtually every day, 24/7.”

Honour House opened in 2011 in New Westminster, offering free lodging to first responders and armed forces members who required medical treatment and care. Honour Ranch itself sits on a 120-acre property south of Ashcroft.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Week of snow storms finally fades

Six snowstorms in seven days pours on more than 40 cm

VIDEO: Time’s running out for Montreal Alumni tickets in Hope

Habs will face off against Hope hockey players on Saturday afternoon

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Peking Acrobats bring extraordinary exhibition of agility, athleticism and grace to Chilliwack

They will perform in beautiful costumes with dazzling special effects and live musicians

EDITORIAL: Honouring Kent’s history

Former editor Grace Kennedy reflects on the special edition for the 125th anniversary

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Convicted Fraser Valley con man facing 39 charges in Vancouver area

Donald Quinnell got four years prison in 2015, again facing fraud, theft, stolen credit card charges

Police seize nearly 50 kilos of drugs in Surrey

Police say this has taken perhaps millions of deadly doses of fentanyl and other drugs off the streets

Young child seriously injured in suspected drunk driving crash in Delta

“This needs to stop,” says Insp. Ciaran Feenan, head of the Delta Police Department’s patrol section

Elderly man in serious condition after being hit by bus in Burnaby

RCMP believe man, 82, was not at a crosswalk at the time

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Most Read