There are so many inspiring stories of communities working together and showing kindness. Tell us what your community has done to support those dealing with financial strain. Many communities and organizations have put together ways that individuals and families can get local, provincial and federal support. Check it out
Greater Edmonton Seniors
AHS Help in Tough Times
211 Alberta is building a comprehensive Information and Referral system accessible to all Albertans. The 211 system is an enhancement, not a replacement, of local Information & Referral services currently operating across the province. If you see a listing that should be posted on 211, please suggest a new listing.
What resources and services are in your community that help people with the stresses and financial challenges of COVID-19? What provincial and federal programs have you leveraged or heard are helpful? Share what has helped you and what would be helpful?
Sherry (not her real name) is a 66 year old female residing in small town close to an urban center. She is married with no children. Sherry has been unemployed for the past year related to her depression and PTSD. She was a member of the armed forces and has worked as a counsellor in the past. She is hoping to return to work soon; currently work opportunities are minimal and contract based. Sherry does not have a car, which limits her employment opportunities as public transit to the urban areas is not available. A temporary contract may be offered to Sherry in March, but will require relocation to Quebec.
Sherry has a tumultuous relationship with her husband of 10 years. He pays the rent and Sherry’s CCP is just enough to cover other basic expenses (food, meds and transportation). Sherry is concerned that if she separates from her husband, related to the stress in their relationship, she may need to move from her current residence of 10 years. Sherry has 3 dogs, she states are her children. She is unaware of any affordable housing that will support her dogs.
Sherry’s husband has a history of mental illness which may jeopardize her mental and emotional safety. Sherry feels trapped in her unhealthy relationship; she states she stays as it provides financial stability. She is struggling to make life changes related to the inability to access affordable housing and the potential loss of her dogs. Uncertainty of increased financial strain has decreased her ability to care for her own mental health as she attempts to re-enter employment.
Her primary care team plans to:
· Connect her with Alberta Supports to see if she would qualify for the rent supplement program, if she is estranged from her spouse.
· Provide local community support for application of emergency funding in case finds self without housing or being able to pay rent while transitioning.
How can the health system and community best assist Sherry? How might we support people like Sherry to continue living with their four legged family members? How might Sherry’s health be impacted? Share your story with us.
What income tax clinics are in your community and what impact have you seen?
Community volunteer tax clinics has contributed to reducing poverty and improving economic self-sufficiently across Alberta, FCSS reports. Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is a partnership between the Province of Alberta and the participating municipalities of Alberta. Through this partnership, some local FCSS programs have been participating in Canada Revenue Agency's Volunteer Income Tax Program, or have created their own program, to reduce poverty and build economic self-sufficiency within Alberta's communities. Primarily completed through the use of volunteers, this program creates a huge economic return for communities with very little investment.
Here are some of the supports that Whitecourt offers (see information below).
Part 1 of the Population Health Needs Framework Webinar Update was held Monday, February 11th. Here, we engaged with various stakeholders across health and community sectors to present our updated Framework findings and discussed the relevance and appropriateness of these findings. Please use the attached link to view the slide deck and comment below on your thoughts.
Part 2 of the Population Health Needs Framework Webinar Update was held Monday, March 16th. Here, we engaged with various stakeholders across health and community sectors to present our updated Framework findings and discussed the relevance and appropriateness of these findings. Please use the attached link to view the slide deck and comment below on your thoughts.
Check out this unique way that the learnings from the Poverty simulation event was captured. Vermilion can watch around town for the graphic recording of their Poverty Simulation thanks to Aaron Russell, a graphic recorder with AHS. As the community and Primary Care Network work towards addressing financial strain, this super sized graphic can serve as a remind of the experiences people go through and to start from a place of empathy. What stands out for you?
An inclusive community with no service barriers or bias and has increased integration and collaboration to maximize the level of supports to community members are just some of the hopes and dreams of 21 Whitecourt community members that attended the first RIFS coalition meeting in September.
When they dreamed of Whitecourt's financial wellness in two years here are some of their thoughts: Families adjusting to lower income levels; Alternative safe housing for our at risk teens; Children that do not shoulder financial strain; No limits set on children/youth due to finances; Affordable housing for everyone who needs it, when they need it; Healthy food for all; More part-time meaningful employment opportunities for those with barriers.
They hope that working together on RIFS, will lead to greater understanding of community and social services, financial education, positive attitudes towards those who are struggling, interconnection between support services, and engagement of community members. Check out the meeting summary. Do their hopes and dreams ring true for you?