Pro­gram re­view

Sal­va­tion Army will take a look at its home heat­ing as­sis­tance pro­gram

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY NANCY MACPHEE

Sal­va­tion Army will take a look at its home heat­ing as­sis­tance pro­gram.

The Sal­va­tion Army on P.E.I. plans to re­view a pro­gram it ad­min­is­ters aimed at help­ing Is­lan­ders in need to heat their homes.

The re­view comes on the heels of con­cerns raised by a St. Louis mother about ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the pro­gram.

Christina Green lives an hour west of Sum­mer­side, one of two lo­ca­tions — the se­cond be­ing Char­lot­te­town — where ap­pli­ca­tions for the Sal­va­tion Army’s Home Heat­ing As­sis­tance Pro­gram can be filled out.

In an in­ter­view with the Jour­nal Pi­o­neer, she ques­tioned why ap­pli­ca­tions couldn’t be taken out­side the two cities.

“I have all the pa­pers and I can send them in, but I would have to make that hour drive. And I can’t af­ford that,” she said at the time.

Ma­jor Wil­lis Drover, og the Sal­va­tion Army in Sum­mer­side, said pro­gram cri­te­ria set out by the or­ga­ni­za­tion hasn’t changed since its in­tro­duc­tion in 2008.

This year, the prov­ince in­creased the con­tri­bu­tion to $136,200. A third of the funds go to the Sal­va­tion Army for dis­tri­bu­tion in Prince County and the Sal­va­tion Army in Char­lot­te­town hands out the re­main­der in Queens and Kings coun­ties.

“We are go­ing to look at the pro­gram again and see if there is any way we can change the pro­gram or im­prove it to make it bet­ter for ev­ery­one,” said Drover.

He said there are “ex­cep­tions” where ap­pli­ca­tions do not have to be filled out in per­son at ei­ther Sal­va­tion Army lo­ca­tion, such as “if you phys­i­cally can’t get here.”

Drover couldn’t say whether any­one who could ben­e­fit from the pro­gram, but un­able to fill out the form in per­son, is be­ing missed.

“I do know the ma­jor­ity of the ap­pli­ca­tions we have taken so far are from up west.”

Ma­jor Daniel Roode, with the Sal­va­tion Army in Char­lot­te­town, wasn’t aware of any­one from Queens and Kings coun­ties com­ing for­ward with con­cerns.

“We are cer­tainly go­ing to look at de­liv­ery ser­vices as they ex­ist, and we al­ways, at the end of a sea­son, want to re­view and see how we may be able to do things bet­ter,” said Roode. “When you con­sider that we are do­ing this pro­gram pre­dom­i­nately with lo­cal staff and vol­un­teer labour, that is some­thing that would be a great chal­lenge for us, to ex­pand into other ar­eas where we cur­rently do not have an of­fice.”

The Depart­ment of Fam­ily and Hu­man Ser­vices that pro­vides the Sal­va­tion Army with money for the pro­gram for­warded an emailed state­ment from Rhea Jenk­ins, its di­rec­tor of so­cial pro­grams af­ter it was asked for com­ment.

Jenk­ins wrote: “As with other pro­grams that are pro­vided through our non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion part­ners, the terms of a mu­tu­ally-ne­go­ti­ated con­tract are signed each year.

“Af­ter this sea­son, the depart­ment will eval­u­ate the pro­gram with our part­ners and we are open to sug­ges­tions from the Sal­va­tion Army re­gard­ing the terms of the con­tract.”

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