Moncton non-profit closing after provincial funding cut

A non-profit organization in Moncton that helps people with mental health issues get back into the workforce will close on Wednesday after losing its provincial funding.

BUILT Network Moncton Inc. helps people with mental health issues get back into workforce

BUILT Network Moncton Inc. will be closing its doors on Wednesday.

The non-profit organization has provided services to people with mental health issues to help them get back into the workforce since 2004.

But the provincial government cut its annual funding of $193,000.

"I really don't know where I'd be without BUILT," said Philip Nolan, who graduated from the organization's eight-week skills program in 2011.

Nolan suffered from a brain illness and credits the organization for giving him the skills he needed to get back on his feet.

Cynthia Black, the executive director, says the three full-time employees are also taking the closure hard because they feel they helped so many people.

"I remember each and every individual that came through the program," said Black.

"I meet them outside and I might be in Costco and get a great big hug. And they'll say, 'Oh this is what I'm doing,' and I'm so happy," she said.

"We had one couple that came through the program on separate occasions and they're both working full-time. They're now engaged."

Jennifer Melanson, an instructor with BUILT for nearly seven years, says the program helped people who were feeling isolated.

"Just being in a class, looking at different people from all walks of life and knowing you're not alone in this — it's really a big part of our curriculum that's not in the brochure," she said.

An official with the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour said the services will be transferred to the John Howard Society as of Aug. 1.

"The really important part for the clients is that they will still receive services through a new service provider," said Marie-Josée Groulx.

"We sent all service providers a request for proposal outlines for the services we're looking for. And then service providers bid their services for that particular service. John Howard Society won the bid."