Left to Right: Westwood Manor resident Allan, Mustard Seed staff Renee, Tracy, Ben, Shawn, Dean Kurpjuweit, and ATB’s Jamie Bay.
It is frustrating and often discouraging to access programs and much needed services when you’re living paycheque to paycheque and cannot afford even a bus pass. This is one of the many challenges residents living in Westwood Manor face daily.
Westwood Manor is an affordable-housing initiative run by The Mustard Seed in partnership with Homeward Trust for individuals deemed chronically homeless.
“Many of our residents living at Westwood Manor do not have vehicles of their own and no consistent way of accessing outside community programs,” says Renee, Housing Supervisor at Westwood Manor.
Thankfully, with the help of ATB Financial, The Mustard Seed can now provide transportation for the residents. ATB recently donated a 2011 Ford Escape with the purpose of helping residents access much-needed services such as medical appointments. The vehicle will also be used to transport them to other community programs within the city.
“Cash donations are important for community organizations to do the good work they do, and we certainly donate our share. But for ATB, it’s not always about writing a cheque. Sometimes it’s more important to be creative and find different ways to help,” says Jamie Bay, Community Relations Coordinator at ATB Financial.
Renee says she believes the vehicle will empower the residents at Westwood Manor and give them a sense of hope.
“The vehicle will provide much needed support to residents living at Westwood Manor who are currently experiencing transportation as a barrier. More access to basic services as well as community programs will lead to a higher quality of life.”
Jamie says the donated vehicle was previously used by ATB team members to conduct business throughout the province. The organization decided when it was time to refresh their fleet that they would reach out to the community to see if it would be better used to help Albertans in need.
“To ATB, there’s nothing more important than supporting our Alberta communities. Last year, we contributed $3.7 million in donations, $6.5 million in sponsorships, and $1.7 million in fundraising to over 644 Alberta charities and community events and projects. We proactively look for opportunities to support initiatives that reflect the values of our organization and the needs of Alberta communities.”