The Portage Friendship Centre is hoping to keep its doors open for as long as possible.

Members of the Friendship Centre were invited to the Rotary Club of Portage la Prairie's meeting on April 17. Employment and Training Coordinator Jeanna Emms says she loves speaking about the programming and events they partake in throughout the community.

"We are a service provider in town that services urban Indigenous as well as anyone who happens to come through our door if they need help with employment and training," explains Emms. "Resumes, interviewing, job searching, we have a variety of activities."

When Emms looks back at the lockdown periods from the COVID-19 pandemic, she notes that they did everything that they could so their services would still be accessible.

"We were probably one of the last organizations to lock the doors during COVID just based on the fact that our people needed us," explains Emms. "They didn't have access to information about COVID. They didn't have access to COVID rapid tests or hand sanitizer. We even did hamper programs for the elders."

She adds that while they also helped families, if they were able to save an elder a trip to the grocery store and possible exposure to COVID, that's what they did.

"Our people faced enough barriers in Portage. Not just in Portage, but everywhere. I don't want to put any more barrier barriers in place for them to have to work."