Houston Link to Learning has started taking applications from senior citizens who may require light housekeeping and other basic duties around the home.
The effort is part of a federal program called Better at Home and has the goal of helping senior citizens stay in their own homes longer than might otherwise be the case.
Although people age 65 and up are the target market, people age 55 and up might also qualify depending upon need.
While a fee will be charged, a full or partial subsidy is available depending upon income.
“Once we have done a few of these we will be looking for people to snow shovel and to offer light housekeeping services,” said Houston Link to Learning’s manager, Marian Ells, of the start up.
“We also already have something set up for transportation in a partnership with the Canadian Legion in Houston using their shuttle van service.”
Exactly how many clients can be served in Houston isn’t yet known as a lot will depend upon the individual needs of those clients, Ells said.
One of the services already being offered is transportation through the Royal Canadian Legion’s community van.
“The Houston Legion is thrilled to be working with the Better at Home project,” said Legion official Joanne Woodbeck. “It is one way we can continue to assist seniors with their transportation needs within the community.”
Houston Link to Learning received a $31,250 grant late last year to offer the service in Houston as well as Smithers and Telkwa. About half of that has been designated for Houston with the other half for Smithers and Telkwa residents. In those communities, the Smithers Community Services Association is acting on behalf of Houston Link to Learning.
“They will get to decide, from their intake process, what services to offer for their residents. The program can look quite different in each community,” said Ells.
“In Houston offering transport is so important but in Smithers they might not offer this as there is a community bus and several other options for residents. We really like the fact that the program will look different in each community.”
Cathryn Olmstead from the Smithers Community Services Association said it has a job posting out now connected to the program and hopes to have it filled by mid-February
The grant ends March 31 and Houston Link to Learning is applying to continue the program.
“We will have to apply in February for the next year and while nothing is ever 100 per cent certain in the funding world we are confident that we will be able to get funding for the full year,” Ells said.