Sunrise House, suicide prevention centre receive provincial grants

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The Sunrise House youth shelter, Suicide Prevention Resource Centre, Grande Prairie Legion and Grande Prairie Live Theatre are the beneficiaries of provincial grants of between $92- and $125,000.

Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard distributed the grants Friday on behalf of the ministry of culture and associate minister of mental health.

The programs will benefit county as well as city residents.

“All of our services cover the entire region,” said Tanya Wald, Sunrise House executive director.

The Grande Prairie Youth Emergency Shelter Society, including Sunrise House, received $125,000 through the community grant funding program, Allard said.

Wald said the funding will go to the youth navigator program that supports youth between 15 to 24 and living independently with housing stability, mental health and education.

The youth navigator program has been in place for three years and has served 100 youths.

Last year 30 per cent of the youth came from the county, 65 per cent from the city and the remainder from beyond, Wald said.

The youth navigator program lost funding this year due to contract changes, having not received provincial funding before, she said.

The provincial grant means it will now be fully funded for the next 12 months and the program can continue with no break in service, she added.

“It’s really a critical piece of our work, so we pulled a little bit of fundraising dollars and surplus to maintain it (since) the other contract ended in September,” Wald said.

“This was perfect timing.”

Allard said she can’t speak to whether the province can continue funding the program after 2021.

Wald said the shelter currently has nine beds and has been running “primarily full,” or at 80 to 90 per cent capacity nightly.

Meanwhile, the Suicide Prevention Resource Centre (SPRC) received $135,000 in provincial funding, Allard said.

During Friday’s press conference Charlotte Bierman, SPRC vice-president, said the funding will go toward expanding the number of families that can be served through workshops.

The funding will also support the men’s support group and suicide prevention public education, Bierman said.

Under the Community Facility Enhancement Program, the Grande Prairie Legion was awarded $125,000 and the live theatre group $92,000, Allard said.

She told Town & Country News the funding will go to renovating the Legion kitchen and upgrades to the theatre facilities.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News