Rally Point Retreat
Couple years ago as we started building Veterans House (VH), we came across a group from Nova Scotia, Rally Point Retreat (RPT). The immediate response was, “This looks a lot like our project with only a few minor differences.” I would later use this group as an example of a direct competitor in Veterans House’s business plans S.W.O.T. Analysis. That is the part of a business plan that shows your own and your competitors Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. Interestingly enough about a year later we were contacted by Bob Grundy at Rally Point Retreat for the same reason. They saw our group and noticed the same. His reaching out changed the course of our destinations and the destinations of a few other NFP groups as well.
One of the opportunities we originally saw from this group was that it may be more practical to work with them by dropping our program into their facility and supply them with funding. But because we were in the early stages of developing, we were still focused on creating the whole environment for Peer Supported Mental Health Healing that we envisioned, and were not ready to share our concept. It was as much about pride as it was competition, something we would have to let go of if we truly wanted to make an impact. Bob and I, along with my Brother Michael began a dialogue that would span a couple of years. It grew slowly over time as we developed a working relationship and trust. We began sharing information and strategies, as well as sitting in on each other’s meetings. It became a matter of time before we took the obvious step, and started looking a lot closer at a partnership concept. That happened a few short months ago when, as I mentioned in my last article, that Warriors Landings Ontario, Rally Point Retreat Nova Scotia, Professional Insights British Columbia, W.O.L.F. Academy Alberta, and Veterans House had begun a conversation to work together in common goals (more on the other groups over the next few weeks).
But that isn’t what this article is about; this is about Rally Point itself.
Bob and his wife Jo (Johan) started RPT in their own home and out of their own pockets. They quite literally opened their doors and invited complete strangers into their homes in order to help them cope. From this simple first step, they then incorporated as a NFP and began collecting resources and people to assist them in helping more and more people in need. Although they have received donations over the years, funding by way of money has never flowed as it remains elusive to many of the groups now working together. Yet despite this Rally Point has grown in popularity and in support by professionals in the Health Care Profession and most importantly in the veteran and first responder communities. They are in fact making a name for themselves by doing the very thing that they began doing when we at VH first heard about them. Opening their doors and caring.
It is this infectious optimism that reminds me so much of my Airborne past (and that is a compliment to BOB since he is Navy LOL). The word “Can’t” just isn’t in RPR’s vocabulary and the sheer tenacity to take on an establish construct of peer support and mental health care and turn it upside down is the primary reason we (our small group of NFP’s) will succeed in forever changing the face of Mental Health in Canada. Thank you Bob and Jo for setting such a high standard and example for others to follow. We look forward to what we can accomplish as a group. You can learn more about Rally Point retreat at http://www.rallypointretreat.org and http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2683777103 16:56 minutes in.