Archive for ◊ July, 2009 ◊

24 Jul 2009 Who does need help in Steinbach?
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Steinbach is a growing vibrant community this is demonstrated in our building permits taken out, our summer in the city festival that had a great first year and our census figures that grow at each count making us the third largest community in Manitoba.

Southeastern Manitoba has not been affected by the economic turndown to the same level as other parts of North America, but the effects are still being felt within our community. Our social net is catching some of those affected by layoffs and work slowdowns within our diverse community.

It is hard to define how many within our community requiring assistance a number would be approximately 7 percent. We do have support within our community for those in need. Some of them are Southeast Helping Hands food bank, meals that our soup kitchen serves at Soups On and help to our homeless has grown in our community as well. Others include Anna’s House, Agape House and Four Winds program started by the Southland Community Church.

Helping Hands
o Serve 190 families every 2 weeks
o Feeding 900 people thru the foodbank
o Have a deal with hog producers to supply pork, are working to have same deal with beef and poultry products
o Work with local foodbanks on regional issues along with supporting the Soup’s On, Anna’s House, Agape House and others

Soup’s On
o Serves 60 – 100 people every Tues and Fri
o All food needs of the soup kitchen are currently being met thru donations
o Volunteers are showing up regularly
o Currently working on a School Lunch program for all schools about 100 lunch’s/week delivered to 4 schools

Homeless Office
o The SMC has started a manned office to help the homeless needed
o 3 – 5 homeless people in Steinbach
o That number hasn’t changed in last 5 years but the people have
o The number grows in summer as it is easier to leave in summer
o Our parks support the homeless most summer nights

Other growth issues facing Steinbach will be transportation needs as people need to have access to some forms of affordable transportation, affordable housing where purchasing becomes an option for everyone and mental health support by providing access to health workers so the disadvantaged can be diagnosed.

While it isn’t councils mandate to support all these groups or lead efforts to manage them they are part of our community, council’s role is to understand the issues then partner in solving the larger issues. Many of our citizens are the volunteers of these organizations as they give of their time and abilities meet the needs of those around us.

As a community and as council we need to continue to support these organizations as they play a vital and often forgotten role within our community.