Next Steps with Senior Services
Who will be running the senior centres?
Kerby Assembly is a not-for-profit and registered charity with more than 45 years of experience in service and supporting seniors through educational and recreational programming.
Kerby’s mission is to assist older people to live as well as possible, for as long as possible, as residents in the community. They are committed to providing an extensive suite of services and programs which will better serve our growing seniors demographic and allow the City to maximize the value of its financial contribution. Their proposed program plan includes the continuation of all existing programs and services, as well as new programs and services focused on wellness, lifelong learning and transitional supports for stages of life.
Why is the City of Medicine Hat not directly providing this service anymore?
In August 2016, staff were directed by City Council to examine alternative models, along with associated operating costs, as part of the Seniors Centre Development Project.
The City embarked on an extensive community consultation in late 2019 to better understand the services desired by current and future seniors. During this process, the City listened and learned about shape six priority program areas to drive the future activity of the Seniors Centre.
In 2020, a Request for Proposal was issued to determine if there were alternate service providers capable of delivering the same services and programs in a more effective and efficient manner. Council voted to award the contract to Kerby at an Open Council meeting in February 2021.
When will Kerby assume responsibility for operation of the senior centres and MOW?
The City is looking at the Kerby Assembly to assume full operation of both the Veiner Centre and Strathcona Centre by the middle of 2021. This transition will include a two-month period to negotiate a contract, and an approximate three-month transition period, where the City will ensure the Kerby Assembly is set to be successful in operating the Veiner and the Strathcona Centers.
What kinds of activities will I be able to do at the Veiner and Strathcona Centre once Kerby assumes operational responsibilities? Can I still play and/or do ____________?
Kerby Assembly has committed to ensuring that the needs of aging adults in Medicine Hat will be met through a variety of programs, activities and services.
Kerby has committed to providing all of the programs and services that are currently offered at the Seniors Centre. We do not yet know what the schedule of activities looks like, but we are confident and excited about the opportunity to expand the existing services in our community.
Will I have my say in what programs/services are offered at the Centre with a new provider?
Kerby has committed to setting up a local advisory committee, as well as having Medicine Hat representation on their board of directors. Kerby also plans to gain input and feedback from members and seniors in the community, through surveys, informal discussions and other mechanisms.
What will happen to my membership? Will my fees increase?
Over the transition period, the City of Medicine Hat will refund any prorated portion of your existing Veiner Centre membership.
Kerby Assembly will communicate their fees for services when that has been determined. The goal of this transition is to better serve our growing seniors demographic, and both Kerby and the City will work to ensure a smooth transition of membership.
Will the Bistro be open?
Working within Public Health Measures, Kerby intends to open the Bistro/dining area, as well as assume the operation of the Meals on Wheels program, with no interruption in service.
Will my fees for MOW increase?
Fees for Meals on Wheels have not yet been determined.
Will it be the same staff?
The staffing model will be determined by Kerby. Please note that a different operator will choose staff according to their specific mission and vision. Kerby Assembly has committed to employing staff to work in the Veiner and Strathcona Centres who live in Medicine Hat. Kerby has also committed to volunteerism as a key operating strategy moving forward.
I am a current volunteer. What does this mean for my volunteer position?
We value the work of our volunteers and our employees. At this time, the staffing model and volunteer model have been determined. We hope that all our volunteers will be patient and assist us through this transition time, and as soon as we know what the volunteer model and opportunities look like, we will communicate that with you. Kerby has indicated that they will provide many opportunities for volunteers to share their skills and passion with others.
When can I come back to the Veiner Centre?
In the coming weeks or months, the Veiner Centre may open if current public health restrictions are lifted. The City will re-open the Veiner Centre if it is safe to do so, when there is a demonstrated need, and when it is financially viable.