July 21st, 2024

Well-being plan seeks concise strategies to meet community needs

By Brendan Miller on December 13, 2023.

Members of the public services committee hold discussion at city hall Monday.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

bmiller@medicinehatnews.com

Members of public service committee heard the second update on the community well-being plan during a presentation by project members Monday.

The goal of the plan is to identify and achieve well-being in the community by developing a strategy to meet the needs of social challenges resulting from the COVID pandemic.

“We have examined many data sets and documents, policies, plans, Stats Canada GIS information, real estate board data and AHS data to understand what well-being looks like right now in our community,” said Leah Prestayko, director of community development.

With a focus on working with several social support agencies in Medicine Hat, the city hopes the well-being plan will have a positive impact on individuals, agencies and organizations moving forward.

So far, six meetings have been held by an 18-member advisory committee, which includes representation from several city departments and community associations including the Miywasin Friendship Centre, Sanare Centre, Medicine Hat Community Housing Association, AHS and city police.

The plan aims to further establish the city’s vision for the community by looking at factors that include high inflation, specifically with rising home prices and increased cost of food and energy.

“We need to take a homestead approach to well-being. To consider physical, emotional, cultural, social, economic, environmental and mental aspects,” said Prestayko.

The plan is also focused on seeking factors and conditions that impact the overall well-being of Hatters and identifying priority areas for improvement based on current community needs.

Project members of the plan are also working to define the roles and responsibilities of organizations and levels of government to establish priorities and make necessary improvements.

Project members are planning future public engagement strategies that include community workshops, surveys and interviews as well as using the city’s website to collect public feedback.

City council approved a $100,000 major operating expense as part of the 2023-24 budget for the development of the plan.

The well-being plan is expected to be in front of council by the end of 2024.

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