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A place for the guys

Steven Hill [email protected] Alistair Janes is looking for a few good men - four, to be exact.

Steven Hill

[email protected]

Alistair Janes is looking for a few good men - four, to be exact.

Janes, who has lived in Squamish for the past three years, but has been in the corridor since 1986, needs four like-minded guys to help in establishing the area's first ever Men's Centre.

"The Women's Centre has been here for about 25 years," he said. "It was started as a non-profit society in 1981 and that's what I want to do now with a men's centre - start it as a non-profit society.

"I already have the name Howe Sound Men's Centre reserved until Jan. 31.," he said. "I just need four applicants to help me form the society."

Janes said the idea of a resource centre catering to men's issues had always been on his mind, but recent media reports of a supposed men's mental health crisis and difficulty some men had getting help, galvanized him into action."It was a call to arms," Janes said.

Along with reserving a name for the centre, Janes wrote up a mandate, which stated the centre's intention as "A non-profit support group of men to provide understanding and solutions to today's issues concerning men's health and equality."

Janes said he just wants a place where health, emotional and social issues could be discussed from a male perspective.

He said he wants to help men find understanding they may not get elsewhere.

"Understanding contributes to the well-being of a whole community," said Janes. "Currently, there are no resources specifically geared toward single men, married men, single fathers and fathers.

"It's no wonder the majority of homeless people out there are men," he added. "I think men have the same needs and desires as women do. A husband needs and cares about his family as much as a wife does."

Janes said he has looked at everything from government pamphlets to local resource guides, and has yet to find anything specifically for men.

"We really need this," he said. "Right now you can, as a man, join groups like the Kinsmen Club or the Knights of Columbus, but those are denominational organizations. There is nothing for a regular guy, who just needs to talk about his problems with another guy.

"Guys just tend to hold things inside," he said. "If I wanted to talk to someone about a sensitive issue or problem, and I went to a centre or someplace to get counseling, I would probably have to speak to a woman, as those places are usually mostly staffed by women. Why can't men just get help from men? I think what they do at the Women's Centre is awesome, but I just think we should have the same thing for guys. To me, that's the government's responsibility to provide that, but I've decided to do it myself."

If Janes can get more local men involved in setting up a centre, he said he would then look into securing a space for the facility, then set up advocacy and counseling services, and perhaps some single occupancy rooms.

For more information or to contact Janes call 604-815-1601.

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