New Building Creates New Opportunities at Multiworks

By Nicole Linzmeyer, SARC Communications Officer

In celebration of SARC’s 50th Anniversary, we are highlighting Members that are approaching client needs in unique ways. SARC Members have accomplished some amazing things for Saskatchewan communities over the last fifty years; looking ahead into the next fifty, we know there are many more achievements to be made!

Last week, Multiworks held its official grand opening for their brand new Day Program facility located on Main Street in Meadow Lake.  This much needed new facility is already creating a huge impact on the organization as a whole – in the areas of services, functionality, and community interest/support.

Multiworks has recognized that they were in need of a new building for quite some time, and officially started the process over eight years ago when they began planning by having a look at some other day program facilities across the province. The organization was in need of a modern facility that suited the needs of everyone supported by Multiworks. The brand new facility has a variety of great features including a large kitchen area, accessible bathrooms, more office space, an indoor wheelchair ramp, heated floors, a Board/training room, a staffroom and much more.

While the bright shiny kitchen, and spacious bathrooms and common areas are all fantastic and much needed, Multiworks has experienced a number of other benefits to their entire organization because of this new update, including:  

Increased Independence

Multiworks is already noticing the positive impacts that having a central location provides for the people they support.  Dave Thickett, Executive Director of Multiworks said, “It’s been easier for us to get people out doing things on their own.  We have people going to their own hair and medical appointments, for example. There is different options out there that work for some folks because we have a closer eye on the street; we wouldn’t have been able to do that from the other facility.  The distance, weather, and traffic that they had to travel through were not conducive to do that.”  Having a location situated in the heart of the community has empowered the individuals at Multiworks with opportunities to be more independent. 

New and Individualized Programs

The new facility provides an endless amount of possibilities for providing new programs suited to each individual’s unique needs and interests.  Multiworks is still getting settled with their move, but they have already had a lot of discussions about how they can now support people in different ways with the new building.  They now have the capacity to look at store front activities, for example, and plan to focus even more on individual needs. “We’re going to be able to be a lot more responsive to what each person is going to get out of being a part of Multiworks. We were pretty limited in how we could incorporate the old facility into the community based part of their lives, and now with what we are capable of doing here, we can really enhance that,” Dave said. 

Greater Community Involvement  

While the new facility provides more opportunities for individuals at Multiworks to be more involved with the community, the space that the new facility has also offers a great opportunity to bring the community in as well.  Dave mentioned that they have started a volunteer program that has already resulted in quite a number of new volunteers getting involved with the organization.  Dave said, “Where we were before didn’t provide much of an incentive for people to come in and volunteer and bring anything from the community into Multiworks. The new place has really changed that; the more community involvement we can get is just as valuable and just as much of an asset to us, as we are when we go out do things in the community.” 

Increased Community Interest

Compared to the previous building, this modern and updated facility is much more suitable for the people that Multiworks supports today and is drawing interest amongst the community. “Since we’ve moved into the new building, I think there is a greater awareness of who we are and what we are,” Dave said. “People in general are a lot more enthused about their family members becoming a part of Multiworks. We’ve had several people from the community contact us about what services we provide and who we provide services for.  Now there are options for us into the future for not only expanding the role that we play for people experiencing disability but also expanding the role we play in the community as a whole.” 

Rapidly Growing Waitlist

Even though Meadow Lake is a relatively small community, they have already experienced a large increase to their waitlist for services as a result of the new facility.  Dave mentioned that they had always been quite steady with having two or three names on their waitlist most of the time.  “Within the first two months of us being in this new facility, we suddenly have 17 names of people who are interested in receiving some level of support,” he said.  This significant growth in interest really demonstrates the importance of keeping up with the expectations and needs of the community in order for organizations to be sustainable and grow. Most of the people on the waitlist are actually interested in receiving residential support, Multiworks hopes to expand in that regard in the future as well.  It’s exciting to see this perpetual motion of growth that has been put into effect because of the new facility.

Dave had mentioned that this is the organization’s second facility since they started out in 1966.  The first building was built in the 1980’s, when day programs looked very different than they do today. When looking back at fifty years, the progress that many SARC Members’ day program facilities have made over the last few years has had a significant impact on people and the supports that they provide.

It’s fantastic to see how much of an impact the new facility has had on Multiworks as a whole, and it speaks to the importance of ongoing long-term planning related to sustainability and meeting community needs.  Thank you to Dave Thickett for sharing with us; we look forward to seeing all of the wonderful things you have in store!


Please Note: The included information is for reference only, and SARC and its Members, their employers, officers, and Directors assume and accept no liability for any consequences arising from the use, non-use, accuracy, or legal compliance of any of the information, tools, or resources provided.

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