Senior Citizens Association of BC Branch 49 Powell River is set to expand its programming, with funding provided by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) and administered by United Way Powell River and District with support from First Credit Union.
According to a media release, the association has planned several new programming enhancements designed to support the community’s senior population, such as expanding its frozen meal program, providing information and educational materials to help combat elder abuse, and providing subsidies for the purchase of groceries and transportation.
NHSP provides grants and contributions for projects that help improve the well-being of seniors and foster their social inclusion. According to the media release, to provide immediate essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19, the federal government recently provided $9 million under the NHSP to be distributed through the United Way Canada network. These funds will help organizations providing support to seniors dealing with the impact of COVID-19.
In Powell River, NHSP funding was distributed by United Way Powell River and District, with a total allocation to the Senior Citizens Association of BC Branch 49 of just over $28,000.
“Our board was very happy to participate in this collaboration,” stated Charlene Reinisch, United Way Powell River and District board chair. “The association is doing very valuable work, providing hundreds of meals monthly and supporting seniors in a variety of other ways. This is especially crucial right now as we try to protect the most vulnerable in our community.”
The association is also the host institution for Powell River Assist, a BC community response network, whose mission is to stop senior abuse and neglect. According to the media release, the organizations will jointly design and implement a program to help the Powell River community understand how senior abuse can be stopped in the long run and mitigated in the short term. This is especially important now as surveys have shown senior abuse increases significantly during a pandemic or natural disaster, the release stated.
“We need to do everything we can to support our community’s vulnerable populations, especially in difficult times like these,” stated Caitlin Bryant, First Credit Union’s community relations specialist. “It’s been incredibly inspiring to watch the community work so collaboratively in support of seniors all over the qathet [Regional District] region.”