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United Way Guelph provides $37,500 for mobile health van

The Sanguen Guelph-Wellington Community Health Van’s wheels will keep spinning thanks to United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin.

The local chapter is providing $37,500 in annual funding to support the mobile health van.

Executive director Glenna Banda said the van provides health care, social support and even food for marginalized individuals.

“Individuals are able to visit the health van and get support with things like harm reduction, address their mental health concerns, other health concerns,” Banda said.

Banda said the van is a very important community service with over 2,700 unique visitors in 2023.

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After not receiving $90,000 in funding from the city of Guelph last year, the van was at risk of closing. The funds were absent from the city’s 2024 budget when it was released in November.

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The total cost of operating the van is more than $270,000, with United Way contributing a portion of it, while ensuring other funds were accessible to keep the service vehicle running.

A majority of the funds came from a Health Canada grant, which expired in March. TD Bank also provided an annual grant of $25,000, which is set to expire in 2025.

The Guelph chapter will provide the funds over a multi-year period. Banda said that keeping the health van in the community will reduce a lot of pressure on the hospital and other health-care systems.

“We’ll definitely want to make sure that it’s maintained, it’s in good order, and continue to provide the service in the community,” she said.

Banda said United Way wants to see the health van be able to continue to do the great work it’s doing.

It’ll be monitored with ongoing funding from the Guelph chapter and other supporters.

She said the vehicle’s budget will include maintenance, staffing and supplies.

 

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