Thirty Bissell Centre staff move into United Way building.
EDMONTON, AB – On November 1, 2014, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region welcomed staff of Bissell Centre to their new satellite office in United Way’s building on Stony Plain Road and 152 street. The provision of this office space is an in-kind allocation from United Way to Bissell so that they may offer crucial support and services, through Homeless to Homes (H2H) and 24/7 Mobile Assistance Program (MAP).
“United Way has always been responsive to the community’s needs and supportive of the Bissell Centre’s mission, of empowering people to move from poverty to prosperity,” says Mark Holmgren, CEO, Bissell Centre. “By providing this space, United Way allows us to establish staff in different locations to help improve relationships with our clients in the west end of Edmonton, as well as create new ones.”
The Stony Plain office will house approximately thirty Bissell employees, focused on addressing housing issues for individuals with multiple barriers, as well as offering multiple supports for people with complex needs.
“Stony Plain Road is a great location for us to be able to deliver our programs, because the need for our services stretches far beyond the downtown core,” says Matt Ashdown, Crisis Diversion and Housing Manger, Bissell Centre. “Another benefit of having the 24/7 MAP and H2H programs in the same building is that it allows our teams to work more closely together which will help enhance our ability to respond to our client’s needs.”
“The creation of this office space is an example of how United Way and the Bissell Centre are working side-by-side to help improve the lives of people in our community,” says Anne Smith, President and CEO, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. “It’s another level of support beyond last year’s funding of the Community Bridge Program and the emergency financial assistance provided by United Way following the Bissell Thrift Shop fire in September 2013.”
In addition to this responsive financial assistance, United Way provides regular funding to the Bissell Centre’s Essential and Community Support Services and Volunteer Services programs.
About Homeless to Homes (H2H)
Homeless to Homes (H2H) is based on principles of Housing First which assert that housing should be addressed prior to any other barrier in an individual’s life. Participants in H2H are provided assistance in finding and setting up a market apartment in the neighborhood of their choice. Once moved in, an H2H Follow-up Support Worker works with the participant to develop a Service Plan with the ultimate goal of increased housing stability.
About 24/7 Mobile Assistance Program (MAP)
In partnership with REACH, Homeward Trust, EPS, EMS and 211, the 24/7 Mobile Assistance Program (MAP) team is on Edmonton’s streets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year responding to people in need. The MAP team offers immediate help, freeing police and ambulances to focus more on emergencies, and connects people to housing and follow-up supports to deal with the underlying causes of their crises.
About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.