Four rural communities are taking action to Reduce the Impact of Financial Strain (RIFS) in their towns and promote financial well-being together. The total number of Albertans living in the four participating communities was 25,2151 (potential reach).
Using the Alberta Healthy Communities Approach (AHCA) to enhance health-promoting assets for financial well-being at the community-level, multisectoral community teams discovered the power of bringing together Primary Care Networks, community organizations, and local residents. AHS Health Promotion Facilitators within their respective Zone Population and Public Health teams also played an important facilitation role.
What are communities doing?
Community organizations and residents came together to explore and address how financial strain might impact their health. The community teams identified resources and services available but also noticed there were some gaps. The Health Promotion Facilitators worked alongside active members and emerging leaders to brainstorm ideas that might support community members living with financial strain. Detailed action and evaluation plans were created to organize the work and gather data.
Some of the strategies implemented by the community teams include:
- Creating asset maps to identify strengths and gaps in services
- Purchasing laptops for local businesses and organizations to provide for community use to increase access to technology
- Developing a community lending program to reduce barriers to access systems and services
- Establishing a transportation voucher program to decrease any barriers of accessing services that may require travel
- Creating digital stories to share broadly as a discussion tool