Province needs to support Envision

Envision Counselling and Support Centre provides an invaluable service with programs and counselling, helping families as they face some very, very difficult periods of their lives in southeast Saskatchewan.
Thus, it is unconscionable that they are facing a financial crisis of sorts, and staff are having to go, hat in hand, to see the councils of Rural Municipalities, towns and cities in the southeast to try and get some financial help.
The shortfall that Envision is trying to cover is caused by cutbacks from the provincial government, as they have been reducing or cutting the grants they had previously provided to help agencies like this to operate.
Considering the type of programs and services that Envision provides for families, this is an untenable situation and ought to be reversed. The government saw fit to reverse the cuts they were going to make to the regional library systems in the province, but a groundswell of protest from grassroots residents of the province changed their mind.
There may not be a similar groundswell here, but the fact is, Envision’s services are much too valuable to lose or to be cut back simply because of a few grants.
Last year, Envision provided more than 3,200 individual counselling sessions to people in the southeast, and with offices in Weyburn, Estevan, Carlyle and Oxbow, at any one time they are involved with many families in crisis, dealing with situations of abuse, domestic violence and marital breakdown.
One of their new programs is to work with families in crisis to prevent their children from having to be removed from the home, as they work with families where there has been a job loss or marriage breakdown, or some similar situation that may put the children at risk.
These are very intense and emotional issues that take people with training to be there for counselling and helping families in very tough situations. This is where they need to be putting their efforts as they help families to get through these times, and if possible, to stay together — or, conversely, to help the children and the adults deal with family breakups when those are inevitable.
In light of these services, the provincial government needs to be providing the support that an agency like this needs to continue operating. The staff and executive director should not be reduced to travelling to councils to ask for whatever funds they can spare to help out. Is that really necessary? If they had the proper funding in hand, they can turn their attention to the families in need.

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