Regional organization able to reach more

by Robin Tarnowetzki
Journal Staff Writer

Humboldt and region's Partners Family Services has received funding from the Government of Saskatchewan that will allow them to expand their family support program and hire more staff.

"We're really happy they've acknowledged that our programs need to grow with the communities, as well as our service area, that we're more visible and able to help families in our service area," said Rachel Trann, executive director of Partners.

The family support program - which is separate from Partners as a whole - is three years old. Staff enter participating families' homes in order to mentor and keep the family safe and healthy. Partners takes referrals from the ministry of social services, the community, and from the families themselves.

"It's a really positive thing when a family can identify that they're just needing a little extra support," Perkins said. "We definitely encourage all types of referrals."

The new funding allows the organization to honour more referrals and help more people.
Partners is a nonprofit organization that is in place to help families and individuals stay safe and healthy. This includes helping people experiencing interpersonal violence and helping people get enough food.

"We're kind of a catchall," said Crystal Perkins, support services manager for Partners. "We provide the services you just can't get anywhere else. If you're just not knowing where to go, we are definitely that first stop and we can help navigate the systems and do the proper referrals and get people on the path to where they need to go."

Partners offers many different types of services, including support, information, referrals to other organizations, workshops, preventative programs, and educational opportunities. While Partners may not be able to help in all cases, they are committed to helping clients find help elsewhere and supporting them through the process.

"I think the confusing thing about Partners is what Partners does," Perkins said. "I believe that's because we have a mandate of what we excel at, but we also help everybody in vast varieties of situations. So really, if you don't know, just come and ask."

"What is a crisis for one person may not be a crisis for another," Trann added. "So don't be scared to pick up the phone or visit the website and see if we can help."

Another thing Trann wishes people knew about Partners is its scope: they help people within a 100 kilometre radius of Humboldt, including the five Ws: Watrous, Wakaw, Wynyard, Watson, and Wadena. There is also no age restriction on who can ask for help. In fact, Trann is hoping to offer more services to seniors in the future. Partners staff take walk-ins but prefer appointments.

"It doesn't necessarily have to be domestic violence or a child protection issue," Perkins said. "But what we'll do is link them with other community resources and get them on their way. We never send somebody without hope."

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