Community Connections to deliver Better at Home program

United Way-designed program helps deliver of such services as housekeeping, shopping and friendly visiting.

A local organization — Community Connections Society — has been chosen to deliver a new program, which will provide Cranbrook seniors with non-medical home support.

The provincially-funded Better at Home program provides these services in more than 60 B.C. communities.

The United Way designed the Better at Home program, with the goal of supporting local non-profit agencies in coordinating the delivery of such services as housekeeping, shopping and friendly visiting.

On Thursday, April 4, the Cranbrook and Kimberley United Way hosted a public input session on Better at Home, with the ultimate goal of choosing an organization to deliver the service.

Debbie Sharp, with the United Way of the Lower Mainland, and Field Coordinator for the Better at Home program, who was in town to help facilitate the event, praised the work of local community developers Sandra Davis and Pat Wray for getting the program off the ground in Cranbrook, and collecting information and surveys to help determine the precise need locally.

“I have been very impressed with the level of community and stakeholder engagement in the Better at Home process in Cranbrook,” Sharp said in a release Friday.

“I think that Sandra Davis and Pat Wray have done some magnificent work to mobilize and engage the community around seniors’ issues, and have developed a worthwhile body of knowledge regarding assets and service priorities for non-medical home support services in the community.

“I also want to acknowledge the great work done by Donna Brady Fields, Executive Director, United Way of Cranbrook and Kimberley, in supporting the process since Cranbrook was announced as a potential site in September last year,” Sharp added.

Sharp said that following the input received during extensive discussion with seniors and other community members, as well as dialogues with various key stakeholders working with and serving seniors, comprehensive overviews were developed of community assets, non-medical home support service needs and priorities, and criteria for a lead organization.

“Using this information and community dialogues, Community Connections Society of Southeast BC has emerged as the organization that will deliver Better at Home in Cranbrook,” Sharp said.

“We really appreciate the engagement of all of the potential lead organizations and thank them for their invaluable contributions.”

Community Connections Society of Southeast BC will use the community developers’ report and support from the United Way to complete the Better at Home application process during May.

“We anticipate the Cranbrook Better at Home site will receive funding starting July,” Sharp said.

“Program planning will take place in the months following, with service delivery anticipated later this year.

“The Better at Home Provincial Office is excited that the Better at Home program will be coming to Cranbrook and we look forward to providing support to Community Connections Society of Southeast BC and the community to help seniors remain independent,” Sharp said.