Wapiti Community Dorm Society
An Emergency Community Support fund grant in the amount of $28,600 will enable Wapiti Community Dorm Society to address the need for safe supportive environments due to the tremendous effect COVID-19 has had on the homeless community. As the impact of the pandemic grows in the street community, there has been increased relationship stress, individuals living with mental illness have had their wellness interrupted, and the numbers of individuals in need have increased.
The Saint Lawrence Centre functions as a hub, providing respite from the elements as well as creature comforts such as coffee, snacks, WIFI, computer and phone access, etc. Their crisis workers and project lead supervisor assist visitors in accessing their facility, mitigating behaviours and conflict when necessary. Additionally, their knowledgeable staff connect visitors with existing services provided by Northreach Society, Mobile Addictions Outreach, and housing helps available through the City of Grande Prairie Homeless Initiatives. During the colder months, daily visits to the Centre vary between 80-110 individuals.
The ECSF funds will be used to hire a Safety and Diversion worker for the winter months who will intervene in crisis situations as they arise at the Saint Lawrence Centre, as well as work with newcomers to the Centre to assess who can be quickly assisted to relocate or access more appropriate supports.