Canada/Reopening of two shelters
Two of KRTB's assistance centers have recently announced their reopening after reluctantly closing their doors this fall. The future of KRTB's La Bouffée d'Air in Rivière-du-Loup and La Montée in Rivière-Ouelle remains uncertain.
Recruiting and retaining staff is more challenging than ever for community organizations.
"The job market is so dynamic, so fragmented, there are people who can make the same salary working at Van Houtte," says Hélène Chabot, director of La Bouffée d'Air du KRTB.
To open their doors again, the two organizations were able to count on the collaboration of the CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent and put money on the table.
"We were able to find these people at night by offering a good night premium," says Hélène Chabot.
The lack of funding and the good salary conditions offered in the public network make it difficult to retain staff in the community setting.
"You have to have salaries that are at least similar to those of the network, and right now it's maybe a third," says the manager of La Bouffée d'Air du KRTB.
Although they are underfunded, the contribution of community organizations to the health and well-being of Quebec society is essential.
"Ninety-five percent of addiction services in Quebec today are provided by the community," says Stéphane Picard, director of La Montée in Rivière-Ouelle.
In addition, the limited supply of community organizations in the regions accentuates the negative impacts of their closure.
"In the region, the territory is very large and there are not many resources. (...) In the Lower St. Lawrence, we are the designated center for gambling. We are the only center in the BSL that welcomes people for the game," says Stéphane Picard.
To ensure their future and facilitate the retention of staff, the managers of the two centers are advocating for long-term financial assistance from Quebec.
"You can't adjust salaries with non-recurring subsidies," exclaims Hélène Chabot.
"An investment in the community is very profitable because we do a lot with little means," said the manager of the center La Montée.