Agassiz Harrison Community Services food bank coordinator Brianne Messenger during the 2019 Christmas Bureau program, one of the many programs delivered through the organzation. (Karissa Gall/The Observer)

Agassiz Harrison Community Services food bank coordinator Brianne Messenger during the 2019 Christmas Bureau program, one of the many programs delivered through the organzation. (Karissa Gall/The Observer)

Agassiz Harrison Community Services to look at updating services, long-term goals following new report

The organization commissioned a Needs Assessment report to look at gaps in service

Agassiz Harrison Community Services will be looking at how it can better help the community in the coming months, thanks to the results of a new report.

AHCS commissioned the Needs Assessment report to look at what challenges the community was facing and how the organization could best address them.

“This was a really big undertaking for us,” Amanda Graham, chair of the Agassiz Harrison Community Services board, said about the report. “Our hope with this report is that is can guide our bigger picture plans and help us develop a better strategic plan, and look at what needs we can fill in the community and how we can go about that.”

The report looked at the needs of seniors, families, youth and others, and outlined areas where AHCS could improve its service delivery.

RELATED: Transportation services going unused says Agassiz Harrison Community Services (from 2017)

The report was the result of many interviews with local stakeholders and focus groups, as well as a compilation of statistical data. It looked at the areas of Agassiz, Harrison Mills, Ruby Creek, Harrison Hot Springs and Harrison Highlands, as well as neighbouring First Nations communities.

There were 18 recommendations in total, ranging from looking at ways AHCS can make people more aware of their existing services to exploring options for emergency shelter beds in Agassiz.

Graham said AHCS provides services to people from all walks of life — from the food bank, to the Drive4U services, to the Valley Youth Centre — and that the report’s findings for youth and seniors were some of the ones that stuck out for her.

RELATED: Agassiz, Harrison volunteers share why they give back to the community

Moving forward, the AHCS board will be beginning planning sessions to prioritize the report’s recommendations, and look at both short and long term goals for the organization.

“There’s no way we can meet all of these needs at once,” Graham said.

“Obviously the intention of commissioning this report was to make those plans,” she added. “So we will make those plans, we just haven’t gotten there yet.”

The board is expecting to meet in the next month or so to begin the planning process

The full report is available online, or as a paper copy through Agassiz Harrison Community Services for people without access to the internet.

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