A funding request from the Lac La Biche Victim Services Unit (VSU) to continue to assist victims of crime was approved by Lac La Biche County.
On April 6, elected officials passed the decision to approve $12,000 from the Community Development Fund for the organization which will help support volunteers who help the organization.
“We average 100 files a month,” Melody Littell, Regional Program Manager for VSU told the council in her funding request presentation. She said that’s a huge increase since last year when they had a monthly rate of 35 files after the organization had a sit-down with the RCMP to figure out what people they may be missing who need help.
Littell said those files range from break and enters to violent crime in Lac La Biche County.
“We have asked the County to consider giving us some money to provide direct support and court support,” said Littell.
The money will also help with debriefing costs for staff, advocates, and volunteers after traumatic events, as well as training. Funds will also be used for office support adding new technical software for a secure communication system to benefit clients.
Littell said the new software would be used as a starting point for people who use their services which would promote direct client help. She said crime is increasing and government funding has cut supports that would help get clients of the organization to safe locations. The funding from the County could also be used to help alleviate some of the costs incurred by VSU.
Littell commented this grant will “just pay for some basic essentials for the people they help.”
Ward 5 Coun. Charlyn Moore said she supports such an organization 100 per cent.
“I know you guys were stretched thin before,” said Moore. She said when she heard there were a hundred new files a month for Lac La Biche Country it “Just got her thought process going.”
“I totally appreciate that our money stays here,” Moore said as she thanked Littell for the valuable service the organization provides to the communities.
Littell said last year VSU helped well over 1,100 people in Lac La Biche Country. Council approved the funding decision unanimously.