The mission of Bissell Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, is to empower people to move from poverty to prosperity.
“What do 148 crisis interventions, 50 phone contacts, 98 street contacts, and 3 people housed equal?” asked Gary St. Amand, Bissell Centre’s Chief Programs Officer, when presenting at Bissell Centre’s annual meeting. “They equal seven weeks of work for Bissell Centre’s new 24/7 Mobile Assistance Program.”
Bissell Centre is proud to be providing this outreach service for Edmonton’s at-risk population. The 24/7 MAP team provides intervention, assessment, and advocacy services to Edmonton’s most vulnerable citizens around the clock. Taking over from emergency services when appropriate, 24/7 MAP accesses community and government-based supports, decreasing the dependence on crisis and emergency services.
At the official launch, Sherry told of being assaulted while she was sleeping in a doorway one night. The MAP team was driving in the area and saw the assault. “I had never heard of 24/7 MAP, but they pulled up and helped me,” she said as tears filled her eyes. After accompanying Sherry to the hospital, the MAP team assessed her situation and provided supports through Bissell Centre. With some follow-up, Sherry is now getting her own apartment.
So what all of those crisis interventions, phone contacts, street contacts, and people housed really equal is hope: hope for a safe place to rest at night, hope for a family to be restored, hope of escaping the trap of poverty, and hope for a different future. That is what it means to eliminate poverty in the community.
Mighty and tender God, our gifts to M&S help your church to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you.