VSA Minister Emil Lee. (File photo)
PHILIPSBURG–The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA launched the second phase of its Food Voucher Programme, which offers residents most in need with financial assistance for basic necessities in the form of food vouchers, in April. The registration for the second phase of the programme officially ended on June 5, with the general needs of an approximate 1,600 registrants assessed.
“Deriving out of the programme assessment, persons have already been able to tap into available services such as food vouchers, financial assistance, counselling, social support and other empowerment activities to improve their overall wellbeing.
“One of the immediate benefits of this community-based approach of the programme is that it will enable the Ministry of VSA to have a better scope of the needs of the community and its people and make an eventual match with the services government can and is providing.” VSA Minister Emil Lee said on Sunday .
He said the focus is on intervention strategies and programmes that will be drafted to assist those most affected by the 2017 hurricanes and facilitating a path to move forward, empowered and complete.
The concept of a community-based approach shows the Ministry’s vision and readiness to take these social services to the people within their communities by using a low-threshold approach, with the aim of a more-inclusive outcome.
The programme started in five locations within the community – the Community Help Desks in Cole Bay, St. Peters and Dutch Quarter and additional temporary desks at John Larmonie Centre and Simpson Bay Community Centre. The temporary desks were created to accommodate a larger population within the launch period.
Persons who are still in need of counselling and/or social assistance can visit the Community Help Desks during opening hours – 8:30am to12:30pm and 2:00-5:00pm – for registration and assistance.
The registration process is digital and enables on-the-spot registration for persons with special disabilities or needs, as the Community Officers and the District Workers are also conducting registration services at the individuals’ homes. Qualifying persons will receive a follow-up call for their appointments for the requested services.
“The Ministry has made registration requirements available in the various communities. Community Officers and the district workers are still conducting fieldwork ensuring that minimum persons fall through the social cracks and ensuring registration of the various needs presented by community individuals to register persons.
“I would like to thank those persons who have registered for their good cooperation and patience and voluntarily sharing their social situation with the team members of the Department of Community Development, and as such, giving us better insight in the real situation of the residents in order for us to assist in a more effective way the communities at large.
“I’m very proud of the team as together we continue to find efficient ways to support our residents and ensure that those in need can have access to available government services,” said Lee.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/77959-vsa-continues-giving-social-assistance-to-community