Provincial funding for organizations supporting local vulnerable people during the pandemic has come through for two Westlock-based childcare-focused organizations that serve the entire Town & Country region.
The Westlock Childcare Society received $31,000 which they’ll be using on a needs assessment study for Athabasca, Westlock and Barrhead.
“We are gathering data to see where there are gaps in services, and if we have the capacity to provide assistance in the form of materials, information, referrals, or other types of support,” said Villeneuve via e-mail.
They’re looking to develop a weekly survey and contacting families and educators.
Depending on the answers they receive, Villeneuve adds that they’re applying for other funding to collect additional materials and supplies.
Health Families Health Futures, also headquartered in Westlock, is using the $35,130 from the same fund to support some of their existing programming.
They’re also focusing on the entire region.
“Some of these dollars will support the Thrive program in Athabasca and Westlcok, due to an increase in individuals looking to access services,” wrote HFHF executive director Brandy Berry in an e-mail.
The rest will be used for basic needs like gas and taxi vouchers, phone minutes, and information packages on coping during COVID-19, family resources and Alberta Health Services information.
Berry clarified that the grant HFHF received covers Lac La Biche County, the town and county of Athabasca, Calling Lake, Smoky Lake, Vilna, Waskateneau, Thorhild County, Lac Ste. Anne County (and the summer villages), Mayerthorpe, Onoway, Whitecout, Westlock (town and county), Barrhead (town and county), Swan Hills, and Woodlands County through home visitation.
Both organizations received their grants through the Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta.
In March, the provincial government announced $14 million in additional funding for local organizations – outside of Edmonton and Calgary – that offer support to vulnerable populations during the coronavirus pandemic.