(From left) Colleen Lewis, Regional Coordinator, Central Alberta Vision for Non-Violence Coalition, Sean McIntyre, mayor of Sylvan Lake, Tara Veer, mayor of Red Deer, Barb Miller, MLA for Red Deer South, Kim Schreiner, MLA for Red Deer North and Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services. Image: Government of Alberta

Provincial help to address social issues

Government announces cash for central Alberta agencies to deal with homelessness, violence

People in need will be the target of additional provincial cash in the region.

The Alberta government announced on Aug. 17 that it will be investing nearly $300,000 to help address homelessness and prevent family violence throughout central Alberta.

Minister of Community and Social Services Irfan Sabir stated the money is headed for three separate initiatives designed to make people’s lives better.

“Every Albertan deserves to have a place to call home and live free from violence. This funding will help address homelessness and domestic violence in Red Deer, Sylvan Lake and the surrounding areas,” he said.

“Together, with our community partners, we are working hard to make life better for all Albertans.”

The recipients of the funding include $125,000 for Red Deer’s Housing First program to increase its capacity for services to those that are homeless, $36,000 to upgrade Red Deer’s adult emergency shelter and $150,000 to Sylvan Lake for the Central Alberta Regional Vision for Non-Violence Coalition.

The grant for Sylvan Lake — to be run through the the Family and Community Safety Program — will help the coalition create centres in 13 communities to provide information, resources and referral supports to those affected by family violence and bullying.

The coalition includes Sylvan Lake, Benalto, Bentley, Blackfalds, Bowden, Delburne, Eckville, Elnora, Innisfail, Lacombe, Rimbey, Rocky Mountain House and Stettler.

“This grant funding has allowed our coalition to begin steps towards addressing family violence in each of our communities,” stated coalition regional coordinator Colleen Lewis.

“We will be using the same language and resources, working towards our common goals and providing seven different education and training opportunities for service providers in our coalition. Also, we will be creating a Centre for Positive Relationships in each of the 13 coalition communities.”

The money is all part of the Alberta government’s commitment this year to an investment of $3.3 billion in community and social services to protect and improve human services that make a difference to all Albertans.

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