Province and EGADZ Announce Fusion 22 Partnership
Today, Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) Paul Merriman and Saskatoon Downtown Youth Center Inc – EGADZ announced a new housing partnership called Fusion 22.
This partnership will give 22 families and young adults safe, secure housing and the support they need to create positive lifestyle changes and achieve their goals. Other community partners, including Conexus Credit Union, the Saskatoon Truck Center, and the family of the late Francis Reiss, also contributed to this initiative.
“Helping families care for their children is a top priority for our government,” Merriman said. “We welcome this opportunity to further our partnership with EGADZ and help families on their path to independence. We are excited to be a part of Fusion 22 and to support EGADZ’s good work in this community.”
“By taking existing housing resources that may be in need of repair and coupling that with human resources in need of support and a good home, we are able to offer employment, education and a clean and sober living environment to young families, and those aging out of care,” EGADZ Executive Director Don Meikle said.
Fusion 22 is based on EGADZ’s philosophy that all partners involved need to be “fused” together to work toward a common goal of supporting their clients to be more independent, employable and contributing residents of the province. Twenty-two refers to the number of units that will be used for the program.
Through this partnership, SHC will lease a 24-unit government-owned building in Saskatoon to EGADZ to help residents move toward independent living and to keep at-risk families together. Residents will live in 22 of the units, and the remaining two units will be used as offices for support staff.
Another component of the Fusion 22 partnership is the expansion of EGADZ’s Action to Employment Program. SHC will help EGADZ include a trades/training component to the program which will provide participants with training, employment experience, wages and the personal reward of helping people in the community.
EGADZ staff will lead this work as program participants make repairs to SHC buildings. The Ministry of Social Services values its partnership with EGADZ in the delivery of essential residential and outreach services for children, youth and families.
In 2019-20, the ministry will provide more than $5.8 million to EGADZ to continue its innovative approach to improving the quality of life of Saskatchewan people.
EGADZ is a nationally and internationally recognized social innovator, and recently won Saskatchewan’s first Governor General’s Award for Innovation. They offer several programs and services to Saskatoon’s children, youth and families to improve their quality of life, including street outreach, housing, education and employment support and parenting programming.