ESTEVAN - Estevan Diversified Services (EDS) are hosting a celebratory barbecue at their location on Sixth Street until 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
Everyone in the community is welcome to come and join them in the celebration of their brand new wheelchair-accessible van that they also call "party van."
Acquiring this van was a long thought-through process.
"We opened a group home, group home number five, for the residents from Moose Jaw, and all of them were in wheelchairs, they had no way to move around or anything," said the chairman of the EDS board Susan Colbow.
"And all we had was vehicles, SUVs and stuff like that. So they had no way to get to their doctor's appointments, go visit family, go visit people. So how do we move these people around? Well, we hire somebody to come and move them around. So that's when we decided, as a group, we needed to do something about that. Because what if they needed to get someplace after hours, after the place that we hire isn't working. What are we going to do? That's when we came up with the idea that we need to get our own wheelchair accessible van to get the client participants to where they needed to be at any time."
Once they saw the need, the EDS board got to work. It took just under a year to get everything organized, and finally, the brand new shiny white van became a reality.
"It certainly was a process. But people have probably seen us all over the community with this because we love it. Everyone's dubbed it the party van," said EDS executive director Trisha Salmers.
And changes create only more changes. Once the van process was underway, the board also decided to update the logo, which hasn't been modernized in a very long time. And Salmers said that they are currently looking into getting everything else updated as well.
"We are looking at getting a new sign, basically putting our logo everywhere. We thought we'd start here and show that off," Salmers said.
The new logo depicts three houses and two people intertwined inside.
"There are multiple support structures, which to us shows the various ways in which we can support people in this community. This may be through a sheltered workshop, a group home or us providing services out of your own home. And the individual in the middle shows the two people intertwined within that community of support," Colbow explained.
On Wednesday afternoon EDS invited the entire community to join them in celebration of the new van and the new logo that was put on the van just a few days ago and was officially revealed during the barbecue organized in front of their building. The weather co-operated allowing for a great outdoor afternoon for the community.
"We're part of the community and part of the reason we're able to do some of this is the community," Salmers said, adding that they are always grateful for the support they receive from Estevan.
The van will be utilized for the needs of EDS clients that live in one of the five group homes, an apartment or independently.
"Anybody that needs it and that's a part of the Estevan Diversified Services has access to this now," Colbow said.