By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Independent
Town of Stettler council received a delegation from Stettler Family Community Support Services (SFCSS) during their April 6th meeting.
Shelly Walker, the executive director of SFCSS, was on hand with another member to present their 2021 budget documents to council.
The budget had been previously approved by council; however, Walker felt it prudent to do a presentation anyways to showcase all the work the organization has been doing in the community.
Over the last year, FCSS has offered several programs to the region, such a grief and loss support, rent smart programs, financial literacy programs, and family counselling.
For community engagement, FCSS has offered Mental Health First-Aid, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and have become a dedicated registration and reception centre. They also provide help with keeping 211 information up to date, and offer financial first aid and other projects.
Other activities that have been done include helping with Senior’s Week, the Clearview School District’s Caring and Resilient Schools Program (CARS), running a volunteer tax program to help low-income earners with simple taxes, and a variety of other activities.
In total, in 2020 FCSS interacted with the community over 51,000 times, be it answering a phone call, or running these above-mentioned programs.
Walker estimated that the numbers in 2020 were increased 25 to 30 per cent due to the pandemic and she doesn’t see them going down soon. Part of the reason for this is, programs such as Alberta Works and other provincial and federal agencies have still remained shuttered amid the pandemic, and FCSS has been stepping in to help.
“All of our numbers are up due to COVID-19. And unfortunately, I don’t see any time soon that they will reopen these services,” said Walker.
Mayor Sean Nolls, in a sentiment echoed by the rest of council, congratulated the work done by FCSS.
“FCSS is such a vital part of this community. You guys are unsung heroes,” said Nolls.
“When they need you, you are there. Thank you for everything you guys do in the community.”
“The fingerprints of FCSS are everywhere in this community,” agreed Coun. Malcolm Fischer.
“We can’t over-congratulate this group.”