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More people taking advantage of Partners’ services

HUMBOLDT — A challenging year for Partners Family Services saw increased usage of the organization's services.
Partners Family Services moved to a new location in October 2018.

HUMBOLDT — A challenging year for Partners Family Services saw increased usage of the organization's services.

Services provided include counselling, crisis intervention, family supports and supports for those experiencing – or at risk of experiencing – interpersonal violence.

There were 13,625 client contacts in 2018-19, compared to 7,811 in 2017-18 and 3,672 in 2016-17, according to a report presented at the organization’s annual general meeting on June 25.

“It's been a very good year. It was a devastating year with the Bronco crash,” said Andre Kruger, Partners’ board chair.

“We provided the services for the victims in the aftermath of that accident but we also kept our day-to-day clients in the counseling services open at all times,” he said.

“Our workload increased, our staff did not, but the counsellors really rose to the occasion and handled it fantastically, so I'm extremely proud of them.”

The organization had 10 staff members as of March 31, 2019, the end of its fiscal year.

Another major change for Partners was moving into a new building in October 2018. The older location had problems with maintenance issues that sometimes required the office to close to repair.

“Anytime our doors close, we need to let all the ministry departments know about it, so it becomes an issue,” Kruger said. “It became a nightmare for our staff.”

The move also reduced overhead costs by $30,000 a year.

Partners had around $625,000 in revenues in 2018-19, compared to $552,000 the previous year. Most of the money, 72 per cent, comes from two agencies, the provincial social services ministry and the provincial justice ministry. In 2017-18 it was 84 per cent.

The organization received almost $100,000 in grants and donations, compared to $40,000 the year before, thanks in part to a new model where businesses and organizations fundraise on Partners’ behalf without too much effort on Partners’ end.

Expenses were around $552,000 in 2018-19, compared to $516,000 the year before.

A report presented at the meeting said with an increase in program usage, Partners has to focus on increasing its core funding in the coming year.

“We’re still going to get the core funding that we have. It's do we get the appropriate increases? One and two per cent is not good enough,” Kruger said.

The board chair said Partners has talked to finance minister and local MLA Donna Harpauer on numerous occasions and are talking to different government departments about funding.

In the future, Partners is planning to develop a new three-year strategic plan and build a comprehensive succession plan.

Kruger said the doors are always open to those that need their services. Their number is 306-682-4135.