Stettler’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) has its budget for 2017 figured out, and looks to provide roughly $82,000 in program funding to preventative programs in the community.
The decision was made at the Monday, Nov. 7 board meeting, which saw chairperson and Town of Stettler Councillor Will Brown stepping down and County of Stettler Councillor Les Stulberg filling in instead. According to Stulberg, the town and county take turns chairing the board.
The amount being doled out is up “about $10,000 over 2016,” Stulberg said. The receiving organizations made presentations to the board at the Oct. 17 FCSS meeting, and the members of the board made their decisions known last night.
Stettler and District Home Support, Stettler Regional Child Care Society and After-School Program, Stettler Information and Referral Centre, Stettler Society for the Prevention of Family Violence, the H.E.L.P. Line, and Association of Communities Against Abuse will all receive part of the $82,000 being contributed by FCSS. Stulberg declined to provide amounts per organization, noting that those numbers are not yet final.
Stettler’s Crisis Aid was not able to secure funding, though money is needed, Stulberg said. Crisis Aid is a project overseen by the FCSS, but one that cannot be funded by the organization.
“The Alberta government stipulates in the FCSS mandate that all projects funded must be of a preventative nature only,” Stulberg said.
Crisis Aid, on the other hand, is all about dealing with sudden, unexpected and emergency needs – well without the guidelines of preventative.
The program helps people through the emergency need by providing grocery or gas cards, or by directly contributing to bills and rent, for example. The money the organization has, though, is all fundraised locally, without government grants or other support.
“Stettler Crisis Aid is constantly struggling for funds to help local people dealing with issues of crisis, once they have exhausted all other avenues of support,” Stulberg explained. “It’s a one-time eligibility.”
The Stettler FCSS is launching a new initiative this year, designed to ensure there’s no lonely Christmas for anyone.
On Thursday, Dec. 22 at the Stettler Community Hall, the FCSS and Crisis Aid will host its inaugural Old Fashioned Christmas Dinner.
While everyone is welcome, the event is specifically targetting people who would otherwise be alone over the holidays. Whether people are widowed, their family has moved away, or people have moved to the community recently, the goal is to provide the physical and mental comforts of a Christmas dinner. For more information or details on how to contribute, contact Patrick Callin at 403-742-3337, or Gayle Benjamin at 403-742-7400.