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Community open house to focus on social issues, wellbeing in Grande Prairie

The City of Grande Prairie is looking for the public’s input to try to help find ways to make it easier for people to navigate social services and increase their knowledge about where and how to access help when they need it. Two upcoming open houses will be tailored to service providers in the community, with separate open houses for end-users, and, more specifically, those who are Indigenous.

Homeless Initiatives Research Analyst Forrest McGregor says the decision to create separate labs allows them to gather as much information from as many different sources as possible.

“We know that service providers have a very unique perspective on the community, but that’s only one perspective. The end-user we needed to include because we don’t’ always get to hear from the end-user,” she explains. “Especially in areas like homelessness, Indigenous people are over-represented as users of those programs so we need to hear more about how we can tailor our systems to better support people in different circumstances and different histories behind them.”

McGregor says from an administrative point of view, what they learn from front line workers may also make a huge difference in the delivery of services going forward long-term.

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“From the funder and system planning perspective, across that system and organizing it better from service prevision, strategy and also eventually from a funding perspective.”

The service provider-specific open houses will run January 8th from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Muskoseepi Park Pavilion, with a second planned for the same day from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at HearthStone Manor. The two open houses aimed at end-users are set for January 8th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Teresa Sargent Hall, and January 9th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Muskoseepi Park Pavilion.

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