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Crisis Prevention Task Force looking to purchase United Church


Dauphin First United Church could soon have a new owner.
In a report to city council at its regular meeting, Sept. 14, Randy Daley of the Crisis Prevention Task Force said his group is currently in negotiations with the church.
“We are intending to purchase the land and property of the First United Church,” Daley told councillors.
“The negotiations are going well, we’re moving steadily forward. It’s an enormous project for both the Dauphin First United Church and us. While we’d like to get things done quickly, we’re not in a real big hurry because we want to make sure that everything is done properly and everything is as transparent as it possibly can be. Again, it’s a big deal to both parties and will set up a lot of opportunities for the future with respect to our planning.”
While the group currently does not have the means to purchase the property outright, they do have a plan, Daley said.
“We have no money, but we still know how to make it work. Obviously the charitable status we’re seeking will go a long way to helping us get some funding. We hope to pass some of this off onto the private sector and the commercial people if we can, because we think that they should be partners in this endeavour,” Daley said.
“But also Fusion Credit Union is willing to step in if needed. We’d prefer not to have a mortgage, but if we’re in a position where we have to finish the agreement, then they will step in and assist us in that matter.”
Originally incorporated as a non-profit group, Daley said the task force is currently working on achieving charitable status, in order to provide for ongoing operations.
Daley told councillors the accounting firm of Zaplitny Zamrykut and the Dawson Bretecher Law Corporation are working on that goal, while the task force is receiving assistance from partner stakeholder Parkland Community Futures with grant applications and developing a detailed business plan.
“The idea behind a business plan is, of course, to have a detailed plan put together so that we can make presentations to government, commercial and private sector people to generate funding,” he said.
“We would like, at some point, to have enough funding that we don’t have to chase grants all the time. We are working with upper government levels to try and get ourselves on a line item on the budget as opposed to writing grants, because they’re too short term and it makes it very difficult for us to do long-term planning. So that’s one of our main goals, is to try and have some sustainable funding that will allow us to be more efficient and effective in the community.”
The ultimate goal is to build on the task force’s subcommittee Under One Roof, to become a one-stop shop for people experiencing homelessness to access the services they need in a warm, safe and welcoming environment.
Daley would like to see availability of groups and services such as mental health workers, public health street team, Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, the HERO Club, Manitoba Housing and Parkland Crossing.
“One of the biggest things we want to do is make sure we’re open after hours. Open until 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. multiple nights. We haven’t, of course, figured that out yet, but we want to offer training and mentoring opportunities, skill building for employment, all of that. We hope to be able to provide ID clinics and those sorts of things. So a one-stop shop, basically,” he said, adding it is estimated there are between 600 and 800 people in Dauphin who have no fixed address.
“They really don’t show up anywhere on anybody’s statistics. That’s a significant number for the municipality trying to record how many folks you actually are looking after here in your community. So we hope that to take a chunk out of that by being able to provide an address that they can pick up their mail and have a piece of ID, so that they can get on the grid and stay on the grid.”
Over the summer the group has toured similar operations such as Samaritan’s House and Seventh Street Access in Brandon, a program the task force is trying to emulate.
“We’re also trying to work with Prairie Mountain Health to gain more long-term funding through them as they do a lot of funding for that Seventh Street Access in Brandon,” Daley said.
“It’s a really good setup and they’re very cooperative with us in sharing all their information and assisting us in setting up a similar operation in Dauphin.
“We are committed to the long-term efforts of this organization because we understand that nothing gets cured in the short term. So we’re in this for the long haul.”