Innisfail Board Approves Funding for FCSS 2022

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Fund for programs for youth and seniors, with local roaming on the radar for future attention

INNISFAIL – City Council approved funding recommendations valued at over $ 112,000 from the community’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Advisory Board to support local programs and services for youth and individuals elderly.

Karen Bradbury, Community and Social Development Coordinator for the Town of Innisfail, presented council’s funding recommendations to council at its regular meeting last month.

Bradbury told the board that the FCSS advisory board met on November 17 and December 6 to discuss recommendations regarding the distribution of $ 134,000 in FCSS grants for 2022.

The council heard that the municipality would receive approximately $ 207,592 from the province in FCSS funding for 2022. Bradbury said the city uses part of the funds for FCSS internal programs and operations and distributes the balance to local organizations. selected.

The FCSS Board of Directors has recommended $ 63,287, or more than half of the total of $ 112,000 for out-of-pocket expenses, for programs for students in Chinook’s Edge School Division. Council also learned that $ 20,000 was going to the Innisfail Senior Drop-In Society. Innisfail Public Library receives $ 7,000.

The board selected Standing Stones Counseling Grief & Loss Support for Youth Grades 5-8 for a grant of $ 2,400, while the Innisfail YES program, a regional youth mental health prevention initiative, is receiving $ 20,000.

The Youth Empowerment & Support (YES) program has successfully supported thousands of young people in communities in central Alberta since 2007. It was new to the community in 2021, and a request to launch it at Innisfail was received in April. The program was originally scheduled to begin in local schools in 2020, but the province made the “last minute” decision to cancel funding, “Bradbury said in response to a question from Mayor Jean Barclay.

She told the board that the funds will be distributed in January to all successful applicants.

The FCSS Board of Directors also recommended that an additional $ 21,313 be set aside from the $ 134,000 for emergency funding to allow continued identification of gaps and trends in services in the community. the community. These funds will be allocated later in 2022 in response to identified community needs, Bradbury said.

Com. Janice Wing asked Bradbury if there is an organization in town that focuses on homeless people in the community. She wanted to know if the municipality was seeking support from the County of Red Deer or the City of Red Deer, and if homelessness was an issue that might require the city’s future attention.

“From what I read in other places, it seems to me that (roaming) is becoming more of a problem here,” Wing said.

Bradbury said homelessness is one of the four key priorities identified by FCSS, along with poverty reduction, mental health and domestic violence. She told Wing that there are “fundraisers” that Innisfail FCSS can access to get a “real good assessment” of the community’s level of homelessness need.

“We know there are people in the community who are struggling, who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. We are continuing as a community conversation to keep these issues at the forefront, ”she said.

“We are looking for ways to get this information out to residents about available programs. Right now I have to say the programs are minimal.

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