City reaching out to low-income families to access fair entry program

By Scott Roblin
June 19, 2019 - 6:07pm Updated: June 19, 2019 - 7:21pm

 

MEDICINE HAT, AB – When it was created in 2017, the City of Medicine Hat’s fair entry program aimed at making life a little bit easier for those struggling financially.

Now two years have passed and the City is hoping to see even more participation in the program over the second half of 2019.

The fair entry program is open for low-income Medicine Hat residents and families, providing discounted fees for many of the City’s facilities.

This includes the City subsidizing up to 50 percent of fees up to a certain amount at the Family Leisure Centre, Crestwood Pool, Veiner Centre, and Esplanade Museum.

Medicine Hat’s superintendent of community support services Shona Dickie said finances shouldn’t be a barrier to being part of the local fabric.

“We want people to be involved in our community,” she said. “We want them at the Senior’s Centre to be involved and not be isolated. We want people to have the ability to have their kids go to swimming lessons or to camps.”

Numbers have remained fairly consistent over the past two years, with the number of participants dropping slightly in 2019 from 127 to 94.

“This is our second year with it and the first year and second year are fairly consistent,” said Dickie. “But of course, we’re always looking for people who qualify to be aware of the program and to access it. Our goal of the program is to have reasonable access for people across Medicine Hat.”

There is no cap to how many people are allowed to take part in the fair entry program, just as long as applicants meet the financial requirements set by the City.

Dickie said there are people in Medicine Hat who could qualify, but still don’t know the program exists.

“We want everyone that's eligible to be able to access it,” she said. “If the point is to have that access for the public services, then we really want people to access it. I'm sure there's plenty more people out there that could, so we're always looking to promote that and just make sure people are aware.”

Applications can be picked up and dropped off at City Hall, the Family Leisure Centre, Crestwood Pool, Veiner Centre, and Esplanade.

More information on the fair entry program can be found on the City’s website.

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