Lethbridge residents create supportive Facebook group to help most vulnerable

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Lethbridge residents create COVID-19 Facebook group to help most vulnerable
Dealing with COVID-19 hasn't been easy for some Albertans who have already been struggling with marginalization, but some good Samaritans in Lethbridge are helping those struggling most through these difficult times. Taz Dhaliwal has this story. – Mar 16, 2020

As a way to help the most vulnerable members of her community deal with both everyday struggles and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Jenn Prosser and some of her friends decided to create a Facebook group called the Lethbridge Support Circle.

“Folks who need support reach out by posting or messaging someone and then the post gets replied to by members of the group, so we started the group Friday, recognizing it’s not accessible to everyone,” said Prosser.

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If people need help getting groceries or shovelling snow, need a car ride or even just a person to talk to, they can reach out to others on the group.

One of the members shares some of the things she’s already helped out with.

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“Supplying families with lunch food, there’s been a few things like that, like library drop-offs and picking up books, whatever I can do,” said Lori Harasem, a group member.

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Both women note current austerity measures coupled with trouble getting access to supplies due to COVID-19 have greatly impacted some people with less financial resources available.

“Many of these needs have existed far beyond this virus and the things that are going on right now with that,” Harasem said.

“So, for me, it’s a way of taking some of the control from a situation that I can’t control and doing some good and I think that everyone has needs and things they can offer.”

“The one thing we’ve noticed is the people asking for help directly through the admins are people who were facing some pretty significant vulnerabilities, so these are folks who faced changes to their AISH — Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped — payments because of the changes made by the Alberta government,” Prosser said.

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Both say they will continue their work with the Facebook group, and do what they can to help others during these trying times.

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