Thursday, 30 August 2018

St. Albert Victim Services Needs Community Support

RCMP Alberta – St. Albert Victim Services is celebrating 25 years of helping victims of crimes and tragedies recover from the trauma that these incidents cause and continue as healthy citizens of this city. But this essential service requires the support of the community as it is necessary to fundraise to cover all the costs of the program.

Many residents incorrectly believe that Victim Services are funded by the RCMP or that they get funded by photo radar revenue. In fact, Victim Services does not receive any photo radar money at all and, although the RCMP works closely with Victim Services and provides free working space for the program, the RCMP does not fund the program.

Throughout the Province of Alberta, Victim Services Not for Profit Societies apply for partial funding through the Victim of Crimes Fund that is administered by the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. There is an expectation from the Provincial Government that the Victim Services programs are also funded through their local communities, so St. Albert Victim Services has been successful in the past obtaining some additional funding through a Community Services grant, and through fund-raising efforts such as hot dog sales at the St. Albert Public Safety Open House and other similar efforts.

St. Albert Victim Services supported 1054 people, including men, women, seniors and children, through traumatic incidents in 2017, which included helping families make arrangements with the Medical Examiner’s office and funeral homes for loved ones who have passed away suddenly, attending hospital emergency rooms to support victims of vehicle collisions, sitting with people required to testify in court and helping families find safe shelters when fleeing domestic violence.

These are some examples of the work that is done by the paid staff and the well-trained volunteer advocates of the St. Albert Victim Services program. But they cannot continue to provide this free 24-hour service to the community without additional funds for training, victim expenses and other expenses such as refunding volunteers for gas used to get to crisis situations.

On September 29, 2018, the St. Albert Victim Services Unit is inviting all residents of St. Albert to join them at their 25th Anniversary RCMP Regimental Ball fund raiser. This event will be incorporating some RCMP traditions with a buffet dinner and dance while a live and silent auction raise much needed funds. A photographer will be on hand to take photos of the finely dressed attendees and RCMP officers will be sporting their scarlet dress uniforms in honour of this important milestone in St. Albert Victim Service’s history. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.ca and tables can be reserved for groups.

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