Chestermere receives $57,000 to help prevent homelessness in community
Monday, Jun 10, 2013 12:18 pm
Chestermere is not known for its homeless population, however, the problem does exist in the town, according to Community Development Manager Patti Brown, and a $57,662 grant from the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) will be used to help better serve resident’s needs.
Brown said people in crisis situations and homelessness exist in the Town, “it just looks different here than it may look elsewhere.”
“We have individuals behind the fancy door of a house who may not have furniture or food in their fridge,” she said. “It may not look like they need help to their neighbours.”
The grant will allow for a full-time community resource coordinator who will meet with families and individuals in crisis situations to help them work through the crisis.
“(The coordinator) is responsible for connecting families and individuals with the resources they need,” Brown said.
She said such resources could be a plan to come up with funds for a damage deposit and first month’s rent in order to rent a home, or accessing financial assistance and the food bank.
“We are really grateful to the federal government and the ARDN for providing this network and this funding,” Brown said.
The coordinator position also helps connect community members together through the community garden and provides educational opportunities throughout the Town.
Prior to the ARDN grant the Town only had enough funding for a part-time coordinator position.
Brown said having the coordinator in a full-time role will allow more people to be served, allow for more long-term solutions so residents have a more permanent solution to their crisis situation and promote a preventative approach to keep residents from becoming homeless.
“Instead of a quick fix to a crisis, (residents) can sit down with the Community Resource Coordinator and create a plan,” Brown said.
“It means we can provide greater support to not only residents in Chestermere but to rural municipalities too,” Brown added.
Last year, the Town received requests for information and resources from 421 children and youth, 40 adults, 242 seniors and 146 families.
The ARDN is a not-for-profit partnership of Alberta’s 21 public colleges and technical institutes working together to enhance the quality of life in rural Alberta through research and learning, according to the ARDN website.
The grant is part of the ARDN Homelessness Partnering Strategy project, which is funded by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
For more information on Chestermere Community Resources, contact the Town at 403-207-7060.