Interagency may move beyond event reports

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Interagency may become the core group for collaboration on implementing the recent Town of Slave Lake social needs assessment.

“I would like to see our Interagency as the core,” said Garry Roth, Town of Slave Lake director of community services, at the April 27, 2021 Interagency monthly meeting.

The Slave Lake Interagency meets monthly. It is made up of ‘helping’ agencies in Slave Lake.

When it comes to planning how to collaborate to meet the identified needs. Community communication will also play a role, Roth added. Once council signs off on the social needs assessment, it will be shared with Interagency.

The assessment looked at both strengths and needs in Slave Lake.

“A lot of people are very satisfied with the quality of life,” said Roth.

Mental health was the number one need identified, he added. Homelessness was number two, crime number three, and access to health care number four. However, not all of these fall within the purview of the town government. Going forward, the town wants to collaborate with helping agencies and others.

At the meeting, other groups also reported on upcoming events.

Homeless Coalition

The Homeless Coalition meets to find ways to work together to help the homeless, said Roth. The Mat Program (which provides a place to sleep out of the cold in the winter months) has been struggling to find a permanent location. Recently, it was in the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre (NFC). NFC has stepped away from the program and the chair of the Homeless Coalition has stepped down. The coalition met on April 29 to discuss what to do next.

Housing survey

Last fall, the Rural Development Network (RDN) started a survey in Slave Lake, said Roth. There is a second round of data collection coming up (May 17 to June 17).
RDN is “trying to get more well-rounded data,” said Roth.
The study is called a Rural Housing and Service Needs Estimation Survey.

Slave Lake Adult Education

Adult Education has two upcoming Firearm Safety Possession and Acquisition Licence courses, said Donna Twin, SLAE program coordinator. These are one day each – May 14 and 15 at Slave Lake Wesleyan Church. This is for people 12 years old and older. All other courses are online. For more information, see

Children’s Resource Council

Shay Strome and Christine Boisvert are the Children’s Resource Council workers in Slave Lake. Strome works mostly with younger children, and Boisvert with older children to teens. Children’s Resource Council has online programming for children zero to 17 and their parents.

Brighter Futures Next Steps has free activity bags for various age groups. To pick one up call, Boisvert at 587-516-6675.

Boisvert is also offering Triple P parenting for two age groups. The one is eight weeks on Tuesdays starting May 4. The other is eight weeks on Fridays starting May 14.

“We’ve got lots of interest in the parent program,” she said.

There are also weekly activity nights – Thursdays (six to 12-year-olds and 13 to 17) and Fridays at 10 a.m. for parents with zero to five-year-olds at home.

Strome leads a prenatal group on Tuesdays. A new session of the seven-week course starts on May 25.

May 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there is an online Stay Safe course which is basic first aid through Canadian Red Cross.
May 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., there is an online Babysitting Safety course for 11 to 15-year-olds.

Super Dads, Super Kids is May 5 to June 23 on Thursday evenings.

To register, contact Strome at 780-516-9847. A full calendar of events is on

Mental Health

Slave Lake and Area Mental Health Network (SLAM) is open to all humans who live in the Slave Lake area, said Pearl Lorentzen, Slave Lake animator with the Rural Mental Health Network (Program). The first meeting was in April at noon on Zoom. It went well with 20 people in attendance. The next meeting was May 4 from 7 to 7:45 p.m. on Zoom. For more information, email [email protected]

Next meeting

The next meeting is May 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. on Zoom. For the meeting link email [email protected]

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