Advertisement

Mustard Seed expands wrap-around support services for vulnerable Edmontonians

Click to play video: 'Mustard Seed expanding health and wellness social services in Edmonton' Mustard Seed expanding health and wellness social services in Edmonton
WATCH: Without the right support, people struggling with health and wellness concerns are at risk of losing their jobs, families and homes — but an expanding program at the Mustard Seed aims to help our city's vulnerable population with occupational therapy, health care and counselling. Samantha Lowe joined the noon news to share more details. – May 5, 2022

The Mustard Seed is expanding support programs at its Edmonton location as the demand for wrap-around services continues to grow.

Read more: Calgary Cares: Warm the Homeless non-profit sees spike in need during COVID-19 pandemic

In Calgary, The Mustard Seed has been working with other providers and agencies in the community for five years to offer services that help with things like financial security, taxes, food security, housing security, employment and legal guidance. They also offer allied health support — like occupational health, mental health and addiction counselling and an adult FASD assessment program.

Moreover, the organization offers basic necessities like shelter and meals.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton’s new homeless housing to incorporate best practices from previous facilities' Edmonton’s new homeless housing to incorporate best practices from previous facilities
Edmonton’s new homeless housing to incorporate best practices from previous facilities – Oct 5, 2020

Now, the Edmonton Mustard Seed is going to be adding more services.

Story continues below advertisement

“There’s significant demand,” explained Samantha Lowe, director of health and wellness at The Mustard Seed.

“With the opening of our new centre, we’re hoping to also provide occupational therapy as well as counselling supports. We’ve already heard and received referrals towards both, just with the community increasingly knowing about the services that we will be providing in later 2022.”

Read more: After initial concern, Ritchie Community League puts support behind area homeless shelter

Lowe explained this kind of wrap-around care is more preventative than reactionary. By using an average $21 per service per individual, the group can help improve people’s quality of life and reduce pressure on the acute care health system.

Read more: Concerns for homeless and addicted Calgarians intensify after encampment dismantled

“For instance, if somebody experiences diabetes but they’re unable to have secure housing or appropriate food, they can go into a clinic and have treatment for wounds or some challenges that they’re having in relation to the diabetes, but without the additional wraparounds that they can receive or additional counselling, they may end up in the emergency room.”

Click to play video: 'The Mustard Seed helps once homeless man find purpose and community' The Mustard Seed helps once homeless man find purpose and community
The Mustard Seed helps once homeless man find purpose and community – Oct 17, 2019

Lowe said The Mustard Seed will apply learnings from its Calgary location to its Edmonton centre.

Story continues below advertisement

A big focus, she said, will be providing complimentary services to both medical and social services available in the city.

“And making sure that we have a reduced barrier to access to our services. We’ll take referrals, not only from physicians, clinics, other social service agencies, but from clients themselves, to walk in and just be able to access our services – no questions asked.”

Read more: Edmonton’s new supportive housing won’t open until 2022

Anyone who is underserved by the health system can access support services at The Mustard Seed, she said.

“That can be those experiencing homelessness, those who are precariously housed, recent immigrants, refugees.

“There are challenging systems to navigate and we recognize that it’s not a certain target population that we focus on, but rather anybody who’s currently underserved by our health-care system,” Lowe said.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton social agency calls for urgent action on overdose crisis after 3 man die downtown' Edmonton social agency calls for urgent action on overdose crisis after 3 man die downtown
Edmonton social agency calls for urgent action on overdose crisis after 3 man die downtown – May 25, 2021

Sponsored content