As a way to create safer neighbourhoods in the City, the Lloydminster Block Parent organization is being brought back.
The organization started up in Lloydminster in 2016 and is now in full force with 19 homes and four businesses taking part of the volunteer-based program. Chairperson Angeline Joy says each home part of the program will have a sign in their window letting people know that they are a safe space.
“If the weather is bad, if a stranger approaches a child, if somebody is bullying another child or elderly person or anyone who needs help they look for the sign in the window, it’s a lady holding a child’s hand and then once they see that they can go to that house know it’s a safe house to go to and they can ask for assistance.”
Joy adds that the block parent will then phone the parents, RCMP or whatever the child or senior needs.
The program was initially introduced 40 years ago as a way to provide immediate assistance to those in need. For Joy, the goal is to have at least one block parent in each block of Lloydminster.
“Just awareness that that home is safe to go to. It’s been criminal record checked, it’s safe and just to go there if you need it.”
In order to become a block parent, the owner of the business or homeowner has to go through an application process, where references and a criminal record check are required. Joy says each home gets a VOAN number that will be given to the RCMP to be certified. Anyone wanting to become a block parent can visit their Facebook page.