“REACHING FARTHER:GIVING SMARTER”
An important shift has occurred in our day-to-day outreach at St. Stephen’s. In the past we responded as best we could to anyone who came to the door looking for help: a food voucher here, a book of bus tickets there. We tried to deal fairly and respectfully with those in need, but our response always felt inadequate.
Now, through a new relationship with the Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS), we have found a more appropriate niche within the larger network of social agencies in the city. When people in need present themselves at our door we now refer them to CUPS. There, a proper assessment is done by professionals who are plugged in to a citywide database and who have at their fingertips resources for both food and housing.
But their mandate is very specific and often CUPS is unable to respond to needs that fall outside that mandate. For instance, a bus ticket home to attend a funeral is out of reach for people living in poverty. A security deposit can be too great a hurdle for the working poor to secure an apartment. And sometimes a person just needs to sit and talk.
So CUPS now refers to us those whose needs we are in a better position to meet. We help fewer people this way, but our assistance in each case has become more substantial and far more effective. To support this local outreach, please give generously to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, this month’s Pink Envelope.