Sturgeon County – The Community Coalition overseeing the Sturgeon Family Violence Prevention Program accepted a $6,000 cheque from Edmonton-based United Victim’s Assistance Foundation (UVAF) Oct. 10. A relationship between the two programs has been forming over several months where a shared desire to support those affected by family violence has been evident.
UVAF is a social program to support victims of family violence that was started in the 1990s by Sig Jorstad, founder and principal of United Protection Security Group Inc.
The sturgeon program has been in jeopardy since provincial funding was turned down. It’s been a source of frustration for the community coalition that oversees the initiative since the program has a proven track record of effectiveness.
“The government dollars are funding new initiatives which leaves programs like ours out of the funding loop.” Said coalition member Ruthann Weeks. “We have a well-developed delivery, facilitated by professionals that is receiving very positive feedback and changing the lives of those affected by family violence in our region.”
The lack of sustainability is compounded by the fact community coalition personnel overseeing the initiative all have jobs and support the program as in-kind donnors from the corner of their desks. “We don’t have a staff position to take on the time consuming task of researching and applying for grants,” Weeks said. “We were fortunate to connect with United Victim’s Assistance Foundation through a network in Edmonton, but we really need some sustainable funding.”
The regional program is currently offering the men’s course only as there was not enough funding to run the women’s program this session. All dollars supporting the program are going directly to staff costs for delivery.