There are a few areas I would like to speak to this week and some updates to provide so this will be a bit of a hodge podge blog but I will, at least, attempt to keep it intelligible!
First up, some updates for you all:
Our community birthday party for sweet little Blake was a huge success and we would like to thank everyone who came out to join in the fun, or contributed to this event in any way! If you read the thank-you we posted by his mom on our Facebook page then you now understand both, how simple it can be to make a difference in another’s life as well as how significant even a small act of kindness can be!
On the back to school campaign front we have had some great success raising funds, acquiring sponsorship and collecting items which will allow us to get a minimum of seven children ready for back to school! Once again the generous people of Fredericton have stepped forward and showed us that they care about their neighbors and their community! We are so proud and often humbled by the generosity and kindness of you all; many of you give over and over and show up every time we call!
I love this community more every day ❤
For the first time our volunteers will be participating in teams at the Harvest Jazz Festival next month and we would like to thank all of you who have committed to this event! See you there!
We will also provide the volunteers for Sandra Deveau (Lemon Balm Lane) at the Fall Craft Show held annually on the exhibition grounds (Sept.30, Oct 2/3) which raises money for our local women’s domestic violence shelter! Sandra has been a champion of this cause for several years and has raised an amazing amount of much-needed funds via her craft/trade shows. Kudos to her!
In the upcoming months we will be holding a few great fundraising events including a dance (which as an extra incentive I have agreed to perform the ChaCha slide at, in a pink tutu if we sell at least 50 tickets while Friendly Fred’s Joel Thompson films it), a golf tournament and an organized run so please stayed tuned for dates and more information on all of those.
Next I would like to clear up some confusion about how we operate and what we do. We are a fully incorporated non-profit entity that operates solely through informal community support and volunteer action. Normally we receive requests either from clients or referring agencies then put that out to our volunteer networks via various channels which can often take a few days. Moreover the vision Maegan and I share for Linking Lives Inc. is one comprised of establishing long-term support networks involving a variety of community members, as we don’t feel simply providing the occasional grocery card or a new couch will create a pathway out of poverty for anyone! Our goal is to develop a case plan with each person/family we work with based on their actual needs, and future goals then Linking Lives, along with those we connect them to in the community, will then provide the necessary ongoing support. We believe that to truly empower individuals, reconnect them to their community and facilitating real life changes will require more than one-act, one agency or one service provider. Further extracting oneself from an impoverished life takes time and requires long-term, ongoing support in order to be successful. If you have any questions in regards to our organization please feel free to contact Maegan, Tyler, Robyn or I and we will gladly answer them for you; fair warning– you may regret asking as ((full disclosure)) we LOVE talking about it!!
There is power in awareness.
We are certain the more informed people are on the issue of abject poverty in our city, the more involved they will become in assisting their neighbors in need! Our goal is not to build a successful “agency” but to create a movement that will, in turn, help build a healthier, more inclusive, more equitable community for everyone.
Finally on to my rant for the blog; HOUSING
Two of the most basic of needs any of us have are FOOD and HOUSING; without which not much else in your life really matters. If you are homeless and without the basic necessities of life you are not concerned with education, health, employment, or psychological well-being because you are HUNGRY and HOMELESS!! This is why we promote the housing first model… because it makes sense people! From what we have experienced in the past five months of operation it has become clear, at least from my perspective, that there is a housing crisis in Fredericton. The lack of safe, affordable housing in this city contributes significantly to conditions of poverty.
Let me give you an example:
A single mom with one child will receive around $974.00 on assistance from Social Development but the average rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in Fredericton is around $756.00 -nothing included. This leaves $218.00 to live off until the 20th when Child Tax Credit benefits come out which is $10.90 per day to eat, pay for transportation needs, or purchase necessary items such as diapers/formula, and other household needs. If there are any bills due during this period such as power or phone that amount will be reduced.
Do the math!
That, my friends, is why our number one request is for assistance with food deficits! There are many things people must forfeit as a result of an impoverished life but SERIOUSLY folks it should never be food!!! That is unacceptable. If there were enough available, affordable housing freeing up income for adequate sustenance, those struggling could begin to focus on other areas such as; education & training or their health & well-being for example, which would allow them to create better lives for themselves and their families …..which in turn……are you ready for it…. improves the quality of our community for us ALL. I am not an economist and I have no data to back that up but common sense dictates a housing first model is the best course of action! I am sending out a plea to all those who rent apartments, houses or rooms to please consider working with non-profits when they call desperate to provide housing to a family, agree to a subsidy program via NB Housing, consider integrating rent reductions for those in need or allocating a unit for emergency requests. I am not asking you to take a financial hit or jeopardize your own but am simply suggesting if you are able, please consider this as a means to give back to your community.
People are TRULY DESPERATE for housing in Fredericton!
“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”-Nelson Mandela
Please stay connected & share your thoughts and opinions with us!
We would love to hear from you at:
Or to donate to Linking Lives Inc. you can send e-transfers directly to our email or head over to our GoFundMe at: