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City planning to improve social programs and services

A five year plan is in the works to improve the social needs of residents in Lloydminster.

The results from a Social Needs Assessment survey conducted last year by the City and the Lloydminster Regional Health Foundation are being incorporated into a operational plan to improve social services provided by the City.

Improving mental health and addiction services, the safety and support in the community, as well as making recreation more affordable and accessible were the items that topped the list as most important for residents.

As part of the proposed plan, the City will look to collaborate with community partners to increase the knowledge of mental health resources, as well as work with local mental health providers to create awareness campaigns. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says partnering is important part of the plan because the City can’t alway take the lead.

“We certainly want to work with the partners that are in place in the City and that was demonstrated through the whole review to start with. We partnered with the Lloydminster Regional Health Foundation, we also want to partner with other groups in the City and that’s existing already and build new partnerships.”

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The proposal also includes improving the sense of community and reducing isolation with the Block Party Program. Aalbers says the program allows people to engage with one another.

“Having neighbourhoods get together and people getting to know their neighbours  will add value for crime reduction and all sorts of payback for these communities, so I’m very supportive of that.”

The program already is in place, but the City hopes to increase its awareness. If approved, the plan will be in place through 2024 and then another Social Needs Assessment will be conducted.

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