by Stephen Dafoe
It was a little move in terms of distance but a big move in terms of providing resources last week for the Sturgeon Community Resource Network.
The Gibbons organization, which provides services throughout Sturgeon Company recently completed their move across the street to a much larger facility.
“Anyone who has been in the old community hall in Gibbons wouldn’t even recognize it,” said Program Coordinator Amy Dribnenky of the move into the newly renovated facility, adding in addition to her organization moving into the building, she is joined by the Early Childhood Development Initiative, Gibbons FCSS, Sturgeon Literacy, and the Community Closet. “We have a big beautiful boardroom so that if we have a partner group – say Alberta Health Services wants to have a course, we can provide them the space to do that.”
Dribenenky said a smaller room can assist groups like the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation should thy need to meet a client in the area.
“It’s just a really great resource,” she said of the new facility. “It’s got a shower so that if we are dealing with a client that is homeless, they can have a warm shower, get some food and clean clothes.”
Gibbons Community Services Director Mike Dubreuil said the Food Bank had been using the building and there was some unused space available.
“We are the regional home to a few of these programs already that were taking up residence in a privately owned space,” Dubreuil said, noting the initial conversation had begun five years ago.
About 18 months ago they started looking at the feasibility of converting the present space. The floor plan for that vision began last spring, and after about $200,00 in renovations, the facility is now ready to better serve clients in the region.
Dribnenky said the new facility means an additional level of support for her clients.
“We’ve always been touted as a one-stop-shop for your needs,” she said. “But now it just feels like its a little bit more true. We have the Food Bank here. We have the Clothing Closet here. All of the resources are right here and a little more accessible.”
With everything under one roof, Dribnenky feels people coming to use the Food Bank may be better served because the additional services are immediately to hand.
“Just crossing the road to the other building could be intimidating and overwhelming,” she said. “It just gives us the chance to better connect with people. The new space is so much more bright and welcoming.”
The facility is located at 5016 50 Street in Gibbons. Their website is http://www.scrnetwork.ca.