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Phillips calls for funding to be reinstated to Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network

Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips called on the Alberta government to reinstate funding the Lethbridge Elder Abuse Network Friday. Funding for the $100,000 program was suspended in Februrary. Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips called on the Alberta government to reinstate funding the Lethbridge Elder Abuse Network Friday. Funding for the $100,000 program was suspended in Februrary.
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Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips is calling on the province to reinstate funding for the Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network.

The Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization (LSCO) learned funding for the program would be cut at the end of February.

It was the city’s only case management resource for seniors at risk of being abused.

Since funding was suspended, Phillips said she has received over 300 letters from concerned citizens.

Phillips wants to see the original $100,000 brought back and double so the program can provide adequate support.

At the time funding was cut, the Learn Program had approximately 40 active cases.

With its provincial funding cut, Lethbridge's only elder abuse program will come to an end.

UCP RESPONDS

Saturday morning, a spokesperson for Mike Ellis, Alberta's minister of public safety and emergency services, sent the following statement:

“Previous government funding to LEARN was provided to the Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization through a grant program that is now replaced by the new Specialized Criminal Justice Navigator (SCJN) grant program. This grant will provide $6.8 million over two years to support victims of crime as they navigate the criminal justice system. 

"Grants will assist 20 non-profit organizations in Alberta to ensure they receive equitable, responsive and coordinated support during the aftermath of a crime. And thanks to the advocacy of the local MLA, Nathan Neudorf, this does include funding for an organization in Lethbridge. This funding is making an immediate difference to address significant gaps in Alberta communities by enhancing frontline service delivery, building capacity in organizations, and enhancing services available to victims of specific types of crime, such as intimate partner violence and sexual violence, and vulnerable victims requiring extra support, including youth and the elderly.

"Due to the competitive grant process, not all previously funded organizations will be successful under the new SCJN grant as we align our strategic priorities to ensure navigational support for victims of crime. 

"Alberta's government is committed to keeping seniors and elders safe. Through Budget 2024, Alberta's government will invest $9.7 million over the next three years in elder abuse prevention and supports including through Safe Spaces, Unison, Sage and the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council to support community response networks.”

Any senior being abused or at risk of being abused can contact police or the LSCO.

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