Link to Learn

Houston Link to Learning offers Christmas meal

And embarks upon seniors assistance program

Houston’s Link to Learning is laying out a Christmas dinner tomorrow, adapting it to fit COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and guidelines.

“On Dec. 17 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. we are having a community Christmas dinner take out style,” says executive director Marian Ells.

Those wishing to take part are being asked to call Houston Link to Learning at 250-845-2727 so organizers know how much food to prepare.

“We are asking that everyone follows the protocols for picking up which will be posted on the day,” Ells added. In addition to food, ‘Stories with Santa’ also takes place tomorrow.

“Families can collect their child’s ‘goody bag’ when they pick up their lunch and then at 1 p.m. we will be on Facebook live with Santa reading some stories for the children. Families can also watch Santa at anytime on our Facebook page if they can’t be there for the live event,” Ells said.

Looking ahead to next year, Houston Link to Learning has received a grant to offer the “Better at Home” program which will help seniors to continue living in their own homes.

“Services in Houston may include friendly visits, light housekeeping, transportation and snow removal. Any senior over 65 is eligible for these services. Seniors between 55 and 65 may also be considered for services depending on their circumstances,” said Ells.

Seniors can receive up to 100 per cent subsidy for these services depending on their income.

Ells is encouraging people to contact Houston Link to Learning as soon as possible as the grant amount is limited.

“Of course, as with most things these days, COVID-19 may limit the services and/or the way that we can offer them,” she added.

The Better at Home program is financed by the provincial government and the money is distributed in B.C. through the United Way of the Lower Mainland.

“Houston Link to Learning actually is holding the regional contract for services in Houston, Smithers and Telkwa,” explained Ells.

“We received $31,250 to offer service in all three communities from now until March 31st then hopefully we will renew. Houston Link to Learning is in the process of developing a memorandum of understanding with Smithers Community Services for them to offer services in Smithers and Telkwa. The amount for Houston is just over $15,000 until March 31.”

“The time from now until end of March is really for us to start building the program and see what the needs are,” Ells added.

“With a new program there is always some uncertainty as to whether requests for service will arrive in a deluge or a trickle. Until we have a better idea of the needs and what we can realistically do within the funding it would be better if interested seniors contacted us sooner rather than later,” she said.