Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 1, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
2 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD INFORMATION LETHBRIDGE (A PREVENTIVE SOCIAL SERVICES PROJECT) FOR INFORMATION ON MOST ASPECTS OF CITY LIVING INCLUDING SPORTS, RECREATION LEISURE ACTIVITIES LANDLORD TENANT HEALTH SOCIAL SERVICE HOUSING CULTURAL PROGRAMS LEGAL SERVICES TRANSPORTATION SERVICE CLUBS COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS YOU NAME IT PHONE: 329-0636 Kay Jensen or Diane Mie- ema will be pleased to an swer your queries. KAY JENSEN Information Supervisor INFORMATION LETHBRIDGE YATES MEMORIAL CENTRE Opens Tuesday New service fills information lack In December, 1971, a group of about 60 persons representing most of the agencies in Lethbridge met to discuss the need for an Information Centre. There was almost unanimous agreement that such a need existed and a committee was struck to further investigate the need. On September 4, 1973, In- formation Lethbridge will commence operations. Its primary task will be to provide the public with in- formation on virtually any aspect of city living. Par- ticular areas of concern which will be focused upon include Landlord-Tenant relations, housing and assessment of community- needs. For a long time there have been appeals for better co-ordination of ser- vices, avoidance of service overlap and duplication. But how is co-ordination to any extent to take place in a service market as fragmented as it is, con- sisting of massive public agencies, a United Fund structure of smaller private agencies, each with its own board and its own policies, and a vast variety of other organizations providing various kinds of services to the com- munity? If there is to be an attempt to co-ordinate all these services, evaluate them, plan for them, and provide funds to enable them to operate, what has to happen? What is the common element among all these providers of ser- vice and what co- ordinating mechanism can be established which might stimulate all of these different organizations to begin to behave as if they were part of one system? Our conclusion is that in- formation is the common element, and that when appropriate, timely infor- mation is available in usable form, it enables ser- vice providers to work more effectively in deliver- ing services. It is often the chronic lack of this crucial information which results in frustration and dis- couragement for agencies and the public alike. And it is this lack of information that forces us to plan in response to immediate funding opportunities, and by subjective impressions of a particular agency ser- vice, rather than in terms of knowing precisely where our resources are allocated at present and where and to which needs they might be better directed. For agency workers to perform effectively, they need to know of the service programs offered by other agencies in the community so that the public can be accurately referred to them. Given the capability to make accurate cross- referrals t0 other agencies, a single agency has effec- tively increased its program of service to all services in the community. Without it. agencies re- main enmeshed in the limited perspective of only those services they direct- ly or contractually provide, often leaving the public in the position of having to continue the search for the "right" agency. At a time when the tur- nover rate of personnel in agencies is staggering and when the complexky of agencies is such that few can comprehend it all, we can no longer rely on the rather individual approach to the provision of informa- tion and referral that has in the past and continues to characterize many operations. We can no longer afford the luxury of relying on an individual's memory to insure that the public gets the service or services they require. This is not to negate the value of the informed professional service person, it.is simply to say that it is no longer adequate to the needs of people being served. Information Lethbridge has been set up and design- ed to meet the information needs of Lethbridge citizens. For those who because of language or other reasons have difficul- ty not only in locating the services they want but in determining which ser- vices they need, the staff of Information Lethbridge will assist in identifying the most appropriate source of help. This in itself should save many people from having to go to about half a dozen places before they get what they want, or worse still. so frustrated that they give up altogether. For the general public who generally know what they want, but experience difficulty in knowing where to obtain it, Information Lethbridge will be able to help. Information Lethbridge will also be useful to planners, including policy- makers in government, local agency boards and various agencies of govern- ment and funding bodies such as the United Appeal. By maintaining a record keeping analysis system, Information Lethbridge can put together data about needs voiced by inquirers and services available. This information can be used to inform the com- munity of its needs and can also be used as feedback to the various agencies concerning what is known or not known about their services. Information head named The community services department is pleased to annnounce the appoint- ment of Mr. Kay Jensen to the position of information supervisor for Information Lethbridge. Mr. Jensen has had con- siderable experience in social work and is well ac- quainted with the city, hav- ing been employed by the city for the past 18 years 13 of which were spent with the city social services department. Information Lethbridge is a preventive social ser- vices project designed to provide the citizens of Lethbridge with informa- tion on most aspects of city living, including informa- tion and referral to the many programs, organizations and services available in the city. In addition, Information Lethbridge will focus on special areas of concern, such as the landlord and te- nant by-law; housing and the continued development of a social data bank which will identify and monitor community needs and resources. Information Lethbridge will commence operation on Sept. 4th and will be located in the Yates Memorial Centre. Phone: 329-0636.