Town moving ahead with social resources needs assessment

by Colin Smith

The Social Services Needs Assessment Review has taken a step forward with Town Council approving the hiring of a consultant for the project.

The review, for which $15,000 in funding was provided in the 2019 budget, is to help determine the need for a new Community Social Resource Hub in Morinville.

The project arises from the concerns of social service organizations that are often working out of limited and outdated facilities.

“Over the last few years organizations such as Midstream and the Morinville Food Bank have seen increasing demands for their services,” stated FCSS/Community Program Coordinator Melonie Dziwenka in a background summary for Council.

“They have also brought forward to Council that their current facilities are also not meeting these growing demands and that they need new structures to be built to help with this.”

According to Dziwenka, there is also a recognition that both duplications in services and non-provision of necessary services may be taking place.

“Competing needs are also affecting all groups in their efforts to raise needed funds to move forward on a capital project,” she declared.

“Looking in the future it is also recognized that not keeping up with the demand is a concern, but even worse is the potential loss of a service because they had to shut down as a result of inadequate resourcing.”

The information collected in the review would go toward determining needs and list public infrastructure that might be used in the development of a new social services hub.

The consultant will do a community assessment that will involve Identifying all social service community organizations and agencies and inventorying the services and programs they currently provide. A gap analysis of services and programs will be performed and Town Council provided with the final analysis and recommended future actions.

The consultant is to be hired by May 17. A preliminary report will be due August 30 and the consultant will present the final report to council on September 10.

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