Efforts underway to help poor people in Stettler

Efforts are underway in Stettler to create a fund to help those struggling to make ends meet or even pay for critical medications.

Efforts are underway in Stettler to create a fund to help those struggling to make ends meet or even pay for critical medications.

The emergency fund will meet a community need that many residents in the town of 5,500 don’t even know exists, said Shelly Potter, an employment counsellor with Stettler Family and Community Support Services.

“People think that we’re too small a community, that it can’t happen here,” said Potter on Wednesday. “But we don’t have any supports in place for emergency help for people.

“You know everybody goes home at 4:30 p.m. and thinks that everything is fine. But people are hungry, outside and looking for some place to sleep.”

Working out of the FCSS offices on the town’s main street, which also houses the employment insurance office, the employment centre and the handibus office, Potter has seen the needs that exist in the community for short-term help.

That’s where the emergency fund would come in. It will provide financial help for those who need some temporary relief from a pressing bill, gas money to get to a new job, assistance paying a deposit to get utilities hooked up, a few days of motel accommodations, or some help filling a needed prescription until government assistance is available.

“We have a lot of people who have been on (employment insurance) for a long time and it’s run out. A few of them have been lucky enough to get a job but then they don’t have fuel to get back and forth until that first pay day,” she said, adding fuel cards could be provided.

“We have some clients who can’t get their medications. We had one gentleman here awhile ago and he couldn’t get any of his medications.”

In some cases, the hospital has admitted people for their own safety because they don’t have medicines or a place to stay during cold nights. “It’s not because they were sick, it’s because there was no other option.”

Potter said organizers also hope to put together backpacks including basic essentials such as personal hygiene items and cards for local food outlets that can be handed out. If needed, transportation costs could be arranged to shelters or programs in Red Deer.

The fund will not be used to hand out cash, but will find other ways to provide support. It is likely that help will be capped at a value of $500 per applicant and help would be provided only once every six months.

A pair of meetings have been held this month with members of local social service agencies and the Lutheran Church to get the project rolling. The first donations have rolled in and the word will be sent to the ministerial association, service clubs and potential business sponsors to encourage support.

It is hoped charitable status can be lined up in the future to allow those who donate to get tax receipts.

Those interested in getting more information can call 403-742-1155.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Alberta confirmed 1,584 COVID-19 cases Sunday afternoon. The total active cases went… Continue reading

Hockey Canada logo at an event in Toronto on November 1, 2017. A “non-core member” of Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team staff has tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Hockey Canada staff member tests positive for COVID-19 in Red Deer

A “non-core member” of Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team staff has tested… Continue reading

A man makes his way across an office tower bridge during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. At least two provinces are reporting new highs for daily COVID-19 infections on Saturday, after the federal government’s latest modelling data showed Canada could see 20,000 cases each day if people keep up their current number of contacts and interactions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 cases keep surging in Canada as four provinces report new one-day highs

OTTAWA — Four provinces reported new highs for daily COVID-19 infections on… Continue reading

Minister of International Trade Mary Ng watches pre-recorded footage from an earlier videoconference that she participated in with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, during a news conference on the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement in Ottawa, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canada, Britain ink new trade deal, beating Brexit, incorporating expiring EU pact

OTTAWA — Canada and Britain struck a new trade deal on Saturday,… Continue reading

Lynn Van Laar, Christmas Wish Breakfast organizing committee chair, said this year’s event was planned outdoors to minimize the risk of COVID. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
Outdoor Christmas Wish Breakfast helps central Alberta families this holiday season

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t going to stop children from having a merry… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pauses after responding to a question about the holidays during a news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau joins G20 in promising COVID-19 aid to poor nations, rejecting protectionism

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined leaders from the world’s 20… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons, in Ottawa, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. The federal bill revising the rules on medically assisted death in Canada has raised the ire of the Canadian Psychiatric Association over the proposed law’s explicit rejection of mental illness as grounds for ending a patient’s life. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental illness in assisted dying-bill slammed by psychiatrists

OTTAWA — The federal bill revising the rules on medically assisted death… Continue reading

The Quebec flag is seen on the podium as Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet responds to a question during a news conference Wednesday June 3, 2020 in Ottawa. Perennial anxieties around the state of the French language in Quebec have boiled over in the past week, with politicians seizing on a Liberal MP’s initial brush-off of the issue as evidence of indifference to a crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Angst around French language boils over in Quebec, as politicians warn of ‘decline’

MONTREAL — Perennial anxieties around the state of the French language in… Continue reading

Numuch Keitlah, left, and Jake Thomas, centre, participate in a Coastal Nations search and rescue exercise off the coast of Vancouver Island in this undated handout photo. The recently operational Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary has more than 50 members from five Indigenous territories who are trained in marine search and rescue. They are on call day and night to respond to emergencies along some of B.C.’s most rugged and remote coastal areas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Jordan Wilson *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Canada’s first Indigenous-led coast guard auxiliary patrols B.C.’s rugged coast

VICTORIA — The winds were gusting at 110 kilometres per hour and… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has sponsored the VanVleet Court at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, Ill. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Fred VanVleet signs four-year, US$85-million deal with Toronto Raptors

TORONTO — Fred VanVleet, one of the most coveted players in free… Continue reading

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
‘Hardship is not a new thing:’ Nunavut fights COVID-19 as cases continue to rise

IQALUIT — It has been just over two weeks since Nunavut declared… Continue reading

Pedestrians walk past Pfizer world headquarters in New York on Monday Nov. 9, 2020. Despite recent optimism over reported results from COVID-19 vaccine trials,<br>Two companies, Pfizer and Moderna, have recently announced they're developed COVID-19 vaccines that are 95 per cent effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Bebeto Matthews
A long way from lab bench to bedside: Virus experts urge COVID-19 vaccine caution

Despite recent optimism over reported results from COVID-19 vaccine trials, virologists say… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
After COVID-related transplant delays, 16-year-old N.S. girl gets lung transplant

‘This is the difficult time now of seeing Tahlia in ICU hooked up to 15 IVs and sedated’

Most Read