Recently local Realtors in three Saskatchewan communities had the opportunity to experience first-hand how the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors (ASR) Quality of Life Legacy initiative is helping their communities. The program awards grants to six community organizations from different regions of the province on an annual basis.
In Melville, the $5,000 grant was given to Rail City Industries (RCI). Executive director Tricia Switzer, staff and clients opened their doors to local Realtors, ASR staff and Melville-Saltcoats MLA Warren Kaeding to show how the organization is making a difference in the lives of 47 clients and the whole community.
RCI provides programs and supports for people with physical and intellectual disabilities, with a philosophy that every individual should have the opportunity to live with dignity, self-respect and individual freedom. While RCI offers a variety of programs for its participants, including group homes, a functioning restaurant, recycling programs and a store with participant-made goods, funding from the Quality of Life Grant went specifically to a Mobi-Changer – a fully mobile changing table, which provides a safe changing environment for caregivers and participants.
In North Battleford, Realtors visited the new facilities at Battleford’s Trade & Education Centre (BTEC). Executive director Mona Leece, staff and participants opened their doors to local Realtors, ASR staff and Battleford’s MLA Herb Cox.
BTEC provides support services to individuals with disabilities and assists them in their pursuit of independence and quality of life. While BTEC offers a variety of programs for its participants, including a book store open to the public, participant fundraising initiatives and a new Community and Recreation Enrichment program, funding from the Quality of Life Grant went specifically to a massage chair, which will eventually be part of a complete sensory room.
In Swift Current, Realtors saw the vision Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter (SwYES) has for a youth shelter. In 2017 a $5,000 grant went to help fund the pilot project Dorie’s House – a safe, secure shelter for homeless youth or those at-risk of being homeless.
The concept of Dorie’s house began in 2013 to address youth homelessness in the area, and once the community got wind of the project, tradespeople started donating time and materials. Within a week things had snowballed, essentially moving a five to 10-year project to completion in four months.
While Dorie’s House has closed its doors for the time-being, SwYES continues to work towards a permanent solution.
Bill Madder, CEO of the ASR says, “It’s disappointing to see the doors closed on this facility, but we’re proud to be part of the community working together for what we hope is a positive future for Dorie’s House. It’s clear that the community sees the value in the programs offered here, and that a need exists.”