Slave Lake Parent Link began renovations inside its new base at the old family care clinic earlier in August. According to Chris Brown, Town of Slave Lake communications co-ordinator, Parent Link and the TOSL have partnered up with the Ministry of Seniors and Housing to lease the old clinic located on 3rd Ave NE.
“It has been a collaborative effort working with housing, both at the provincial and local level to come to an agreement that will work for all parties,” says TOSL director of community services Ruth Rolfe. “I really appreciate all the hard work from everyone involved, including my own team members, Jaime from Parent Link and Haylie from FCSS. They’ve gone above and beyond in their efforts to obtain a new home for Parent Link and their passion for working with children and their parents’ shows in their enthusiasm.”
Parent Link program lead Jaime Norberg says the securing of the new HQ means parents and kids can access more services during a visit.
“We plan for Parent Link to occupy the upstairs portion of the building and the rest of the space will be used as offices for Parent Link staff as well as an office for FCSS, Happy Healthy Kids Coalition and a couple other community groups,” she says. “In the future we would like to offer office space to other community agencies as well. Ultimately our goal is to create a community resource centre so we can try to reach everyone’s needs.”
Norberg adds, “The contractors are currently opening up a few rooms to accommodate the needs for Parent Link programming. The use of this space will give us the opportunity to expand Parent Link programs and to reach out to others in the community. We look forward to welcoming everyone into our new centre!”
Now for those wondering what Parent Link is; it is a centre for babes, tots and parents that offers an array of helpful programs. According to its official mandate, Parent Link “provides high-quality, comprehensive, accessible, community based programs that comply with the province-wide standards of excellence and respond to the changing needs of parents and families.”
Parents are able to access these programs at no cost, are able to arrange developmental screenings and get help with referrals.
As most people may know, Slave Lake Housing Authority had its eye on the old clinic and wanted to turn it into affordable housing. Town councillor Julie Brandle says it turned out that the space wasn’t the right size.
“Housing hired an architect to look at the site but it was deemed to be a bit small and didn’t allow for parking,” she says. “When I brought it to council as well it was kyboshed as well as having a potential three or four storeys building there would create problems with the neighbours as the top floor apartments would be looking down into yards and windows. Housing is researching other locations and will be doing some lobbying shortly.”
The hunt, so to speak, is still on for housing authority, but Norberg says the space is just what Parent Link needs.
“It’s nice to have that kind of facility to use as we like,” she says.
The old family care clinic located on 3rd Ave. NE in Slave Lake.