Deltassist is facing a funding shortage for its seniors’ programs, as United Way decided not to renew a funding grant after it ends in 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Deltassist looking to city to support seniors’ programs

Deltassist’s core funding from United Way is being eliminated by 2020

Deltassist is looking to the city to support its seniors programs, after United Way said it will not renew its grant to the organization.

“It’s a real problem,” said Julie Chadwick, executive director of Deltassist.

Chadwick said United Way’s United in Change funding has supported Deltassist’s phone shopping and daily phone support programs, as well as portions of the seniors counselling and information and referral services for years.

The last United in Change funding grant was issued in 2016, and was set to end in 2019. Fifty per cent of the yearly amount will be available in 2019, but funding will be completely eliminated in 2020.

According to an email from United Way president and CEO Michael McKnight, United Way will be re-imagining the United in Change grants to allow the society to be “more adaptable and responsive to local emerging issues.” The organization will be working with communities to figure out how those grants can best be changed.

However, that does mean the money won’t be available to support Deltassist’s seniors’ programs in the meantime.

“We understand that United Way needs to change their direction, so that’s their choice to do that,” she continued. “It’s just going to be affecting us, in that way.”

To fill the need created by the end of the United in Change grant, Deltassist has reached out to the city to add an additional $75,000 per year to its annual grant. Deltassist currently receives $64,000 from the city.

RELATED: Deltassist bread program helps feed people in need

“We provide the main social services in Delta, across the age range,” Chadwick said. “And we have for a long time. And that money has allowed us to [help] a lot of seniors.

“Our population in Delta continues to age,” she continued. “So there’s going to be more people that are going to be needing those services.”

In addition to the request for more funding, Deltassist is also asking the city to help them appeal to the provincial government to increase funding for the province’s Better at Home program. The funding is administered province-wide by United Way to service providers like Deltassist in more than 90 communities.

Over the past six years, this has become Deltassist’s most-needed service for seniors. The program offers non-medical supports such as light housekeeping, basic home repair, yard work and rides to medical appointments for a fee. Seniors on fixed or limited incomes receive subsidized support.

However, there isn’t enough subsidized funding to go around, Chadwick explained.

“There’s a certain amount of funding available for subsidies, and when that runs out, then we can’t take on any more clients,” she said.

This year, Chadwick said, Deltassist has had to reduce services to subsidized seniors, and it has more than 40 new clients on the wait list for subsidies.

Chadwick said Deltassist has talked with local MLAs Ian Paton and Ravi Kahlon about the insufficient funding, and said both will be bringing these concerns to the legislature in the fall. Deltassist has also sent a letter to Delta MP Carla Qualtrough and the B.C. Seniors’ Advocate.

“It costs way more for somebody to go into assisted living,” Chadwick said. “It’s just hugely expensive. So to maintain people in an environment they’re familiar with, that they feel comfortable in … it’s just all around better, as long as it can be done.”

Deltassist sent a letter to council on Aug. 3, requesting the $75,000 increase in financial support and the appeal to the provincial government. Delta staff noted in the correspondence that they are reviewing Deltassist’s requests, and will bring a report to council with their recommendations.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey MLA says she’s still in the dark about RCMP investigation

More than three months have passed since Jinny Sims resigned as minister of citizens’ service on Oct. 4

Closures planned for Pattullo Bridge to test early warning systems for earthquakes

TransLink recently installed early seismic warning, wind monitoring systems

North Delta crime beat, week of Jan. 12

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

South Delta crime beat, week of Jan. 12

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Much-raided Langley animal rescue society loses registered charitable status

Revoked following an audit by Canada Revenue Agency, records show

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Youth hit with gun butt during fight at Lower Mainland mall

RCMP are investigating the fight between two groups of youths

Weather warning: 80 mm of rain expected overnight in Metro Vancouver

Environment Canada is urging caution when driving

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read