August 23rd, 2019

Four groups to share $670K in city grant funding

By GILLIAN SLADE on August 14, 2019.

gslade@medicinehatnews.com@MHNGillianSlade

Four local organizations are in line to receive a total of $670,000 in grant funding from the city.

The social development advisory board made the recommendations to the public services committee this week. This will now go before city council for approval.

The recipients will be:

– Medicine Hat Family Services: $382,500 to provide a range of services including counselling and education around relationships.

Last year between 400 to 600 people were helped with family counselling, social friendships and relationship building, said Howard Friesen, clinical supervisor. There is also group work and consultation with business groups helping people in the workplace get along more effectively.

It is a not-for-profit organization with a fee for service that is subsidized and affordable. It should not be confused with the provincial government’s Southeast Alberta Child and Family Services. Friesen says Medicine Hat Family Services tries to fill the gaps not provided by the provincial service.

– Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society: $102,500 for Musasa House, which is the only second stage longer-term shelter in southern Alberta. While priority is given to local families it also helps others.

“This money is huge for us. We’ve depended on this money for years now,” said executive director Natasha Carvalho. “We had about 57 people come through this second-stage shelter last year and 35 of those were children.”

Carvalho says lots of energy is focused on the children to break the cycle and ensure they are getting the help they need to flourish.

– North Flats Neighbourhood Association: $62,500. This group was registered as a society in 1995 to provide support and care for about 50 children in that neighbourhood after school and during school vacations, says executive director Charity Ehnisz. On Tuesday morning they were engaged in a craft – decorating face masks. They operate with six staff members in the summer and five when the after-school program is in operation. Ehnisz says the grant funding helps to cover the cost of craft supplies and running the operation.

– THRIVE South Eastern Alberta: $122,500. The News was not able to reach anyone at the organization on Tuesday.

In the presentation Sheila Donner made on behalf of the SDAB this week she said the goal of THRIVE is to end poverty. They are collecting data that will be helpful to see where there are gaps in service to address the needs locally.

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