Welcome Home Project has arrived in Red Deer

  • Jun. 25, 2014 3:05 p.m.

The Welcome Home Project is an initiative that aims to decrease homelessness and accompany newly-housed people in Red Deer through their transition.

Linda Ervin, the minister of Sunnybrook United Church brought the project to Red Deer after a social planning representative approached her following a conference on poverty and housing.

“The important thing is getting people housed. Once they are in a safe, secure place, then we can work with the issues that are negatively affecting their lives,” said Ervin.

Ervin came together with other City congregation representatives to form a group known as PLURA, which acts as the Welcome Home Oversight Committee. This includes representatives from Presbyterian, Lutheran, United, Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.

The Welcome Home Project is upheld by the efforts of several groups including the PLURA oversight committee, Housing First Red Deer and Women’s Outreach.

“To ensure accountability, we have a partnership with Women’s Outreach. The supervision of the project and financial accountability will be monitored from there,” said Ervin.

The project requires volunteers to be trained and to make a one-year commitment to meet with those who have been newly-housed, accompanying and supporting them as they deal with transitional skills such as job searching, budgeting and establishing relationships of trust.

“Why Welcome Home works so well with the volunteers is it creates stability for the person that’s newly housed. One of the issues is that we may be able to get people housed, but they may not be able to maintain being housed,” explained Ervin.

“All volunteers are trained. Every volunteer can express if they feel worried about being in the situation, and will also work as part of a team – there are two volunteers for every one newly-housed person.”

Relief volunteers are also needed in case the committed volunteer is unable to keep a scheduled visit appointment or if for any reason, feels they need to remove themselves from the project.

Volunteers are welcome from everywhere. Housing First Red Deer is looking for people to commit themselves to the project, as are all groups involved in PLURA. Volunteers can come from outside a congregation community and are welcome to contact Barb Borley at 403-346-9623 for more information on how to get involved.

“We’re just a group of people who have come together because we see the vision of this project as being not only exciting, but it’s going to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Ervin.

“Having newly-housed people supported will make a difference in their lives, and make a difference in the life of the City.”

Funding has been secured for about a year of operation, but corporate or business sponsorships are welcome to join the initiative.

kmendonsa@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP investigate residential fire

One man sent to hospital in critical condition

Red Deer project humanizes homelessness

Viral video inspires Red Deer project to share stories

Local family donates series of books to University of Lethbridge

Presentation recently made at the Dr. Dorothy Lampard Reading Room official opening

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Dan Davidson up for five ACMA Awards

Davidson will head to Red Deer with Brett Kissel in the New Year

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Most Read