Each year, the City of Kamloops issues a call for proposals for registered charities and non-profit agencies in our community to apply for Social and Community Development Grants, which are intended to fund special projects, operational costs, and/or capital expenditures that address specific current social problems and/or issues related to the City’s Social Plan or the Livability pillar of the Council Strategic Plan.
The Mustard Seed Kamloops Health and Wellness Centre received a $15,000 Social and Community Development Grant in 2022. This is how the grant was used:
Submitted by The Mustard Seed Kamloops Health and Wellness Centre.
The Mustard Seed Health and Wellness Centre has been open for almost a year, and in that time, they have helped over 230 unique clients. “This new center is vital to our marginalized community,” said Kelly Thomson, The Mustard Seed’s Managing Director. “Providing support to our guests in the form of ID services, transportation, health care, and other connections that improve their overall well-being are key to making changes in their lives,” stated Kelly.
Whether processing a government ID or helping clients navigate the social systems for financial support, the advocates here at the Health and Wellness Centre provide tangible hope for so many in our community that are facing multiple barriers. Getting a birth certificate or other forms of ID, access to community counselling, and housing referrals has now been made possible thanks to the Social and Community Development Grant.
The grant allowed The Mustard Seed to obtain wellness program materials and pay support staff. The grant also covered the cost of obtaining government IDs for clients and enabled the Wellness Centre to purchase an iPad that is used for clients who require support with mobility issues.
Fredrick Joseph (Joey) Lesley Lloyd grew up in foster care. Joey was in and out of homes growing up and found himself out on his own at 18. He survived, off and on, doing various odd jobs and trying to stay out of trouble. However, at 25, Joey found himself needing additional support and help in life. He sought that help and support from The Mustard Seed (previously New Life Mission). Now 48 years old, Joey has been accessing the services at The Mustard Seed for the last 23 years.
“Because of the support and help I have received from the advocates at The Mustard Seed’s Health and Wellness Centre, I now have a picture ID and can access other social/government support,” shared Joey.
The Mustard Seed Health and Wellness Centre is to help people access health care and social support and connect them to our chaplain, mental health clinician, and tax service program. “One guest had not done his taxes for over 10 years. When he got his return, he had over $5,000 dollars! That is life changing for someone who has been struggling for so long,” shared one advocate. “This kind of service help can make a difference in someone’s day-to-day life and it can help them create a different pathway into a healthier life.”
On average, our wellness team sees 42 unique clients and provides 182 wellness services per month. So far, case management and advocacy services are our most requested services. These include assistance with accessing government IDs, securing housing, helping to apply for government benefits, referrals to external community supports, and one-on-one follow-up support to ensure continued success. Because of the Social and Community Development Grant, this program is providing 10 government IDs per month and over 23 external referrals to eternal government and community services.
Samantha Lowe, The Mustard Seed’s Director of Health and Wellness said, “We are pleased to be able to provide supportive wraparound services that address the social determinants of health, such as food, financial and housing security, and ensure that we assist individuals exiting out of homeless and poverty. We are so thankful for the City of Kamloops’ support in this endeavour and look forward to continuing to collaborate in the future with both the city and the greater Kamloops community.”
To learn more about this grant, visit Kamloops.ca/Grants. To view stories on how other groups used their Social and Community Development Grants, visit Kamloops.ca/CityStory.