Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, October 13, 2016: Local REALTORS® got a first-hand glance into how the Prince Albert YWCA is making a difference in our community through the Homeward Bound and Kindred Spirit programs. Earlier this year, the Prince Albert YWCA was the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® (ASR) Quality of Life Legacy Fund, which supports charitable organizations who are working to improve the quality of lives of those in our communities.

The Kindred Spirit program operates in a secure building, providing housing and support for mothers and their children during family crisis. The program is in its infancy, having begun in 2016. Homeward Bound, which seeks to end homelessness in Prince Albert by providing timely access to permanent housing and offering support and services to the clients it serves, has been in operation since 2015. In that time, staff have seen drastic improvements. Says Homeward Bound Supervisor, Rob Dunlop, “Our program has matured and our clients have matured with us. The respect has grown, and we’re not seeing the same problems. People see ‘I want my house more than I want to cause problems.’”

While the presentation took REALTORS® through a tour of the physical building, it was the caring and the mutual respect observed between clients and staff that spoke volumes to the success of this program. Says Kevin Wouters, REALTOR® and ASR President, “We know these grants are going to good causes, but to come right to the source, and see first-hand the difference that a little compassion and support can make in someone’s life, is eye opening.”

The programs operate on funding through grants and donations. While government agencies and grants cover many of costs, there is always need for more. Donations of everything from bedding, pots and pans, mattresses and children’s toys, books and clothes are accepted. “The program flourishes through community donations,” adds Kindred Spirits Supervisor, Tami Popoff. “When the snow came last week, we had moms in flip flops and nothing for the kids. Within two days, we had everyone equipped to play outside in the snow, thanks to donations!” Families are able to take donated items with them when they leave the facility, to assist them as they make a fresh start. Contact Prince Albert YWCA to learn more about how and where to donate.

The Quality of Life Legacy initiative awards grants to six community organizations from different regions of the province on an annual basis. The Legacy Grant Program will begin accepting applications once again in January 2017. More information can be found here. Any charitable organization in Saskatchewan supporting the Quality of Life’s principles is encouraged to apply.

Left to right: YWCA CEO Donna Brooks, REALTOR® Krystal Hammersmith, Kindred Spirit Supervisor Tami Popoff, ASR CEO Bill Madder, REALTOR® and ASR Director Carmen Cartier, REALTOR® David Harradence, Homeward Bound Manager Dave Hobden, Kindred Spirit Support Worker Raelene Beaulac, REALTOR® and ASR President Kevin Wouters, Homeward Bound Supervisor Rob Dunlop