Lorne & Evelyn Johnson Foundation provide new van for Regina

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REGINA, SK – The Salvation Army Prairie Division is pleased to recognize a generous grant in the amount of $38,000 from the Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation (established by the late Lorne and Evelyn Johnson, a local couple who cared about those in need in the Province of Saskatchewan.)

With this grant, The Salvation Army Gemma House and Grace Haven have purchased a new van that will be used to meet the transportation needs of the young girls who use their services, and who are often not in a position to enjoy personal and comfortable transportation of their own.

“This helps to ensure we are assisting these young ladies as best as possible, and preserving their dignity with the regular transportation that anybody else might have around the city. It gives them an opportunity to go on and lead wonderful, healthy lives,” said Lieutenant Kyla McKenzie, executive director of Gemma House and Grace Haven.

Gemma House provides a temporary residential treatment program for girls, aged 12 to 15, who are experiencing difficulties at home. The aim of Gemma House is to return each resident to her family or other appropriate community resources by teaching her how to make positive choices. The program provides information in areas covering self-esteem, sexuality, drug and alcohol use, conflict resolution, and family matters.

Grace Haven ministers to the needs of 16 to 18 year old pregnant or parenting young women and their babies, as they seek to attain a greater degree of independence.  Grace Haven provides life skills training in the areas of parenting, household duties and budgeting, as well as inter-personal skills such as communication, conflict resolution and becoming a woman of character.

“When the Johnsons established their Foundation, their vision was to make life better for people in need and to offer a helping hand to others whether it be through support for projects like this one or for arts, education and community-building," said Christina Attard, executive director for the Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation. "They would be proud to see what their generosity means to the young women who will have use of this van.”

The girls at both Gemma House and Grace Haven have regularly scheduled doctor, social worker, and mentor appointments outside the facility, as well as after-school and recreational activities.  Thanks to the generosity of the Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation, the additional van acquired will serve to:

  • Reduce unnecessary stress on already vulnerable women by getting them to and from their various activities and appointments in reasonable amounts of time
  • Increase practical scheduling and reduce unnecessary overtime staffing costs
  • Promote inclusivity by having both residences come together to participate in planned recreational/learning weekends

"We are extremely grateful for the generous example of support by the Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation,” said Major Mike Hoeft, area commander for Prairie West, of The Salvation Army Prairie Division. “The gift of a van for use at The Salvation Army Grace Haven and Gemma House is very much appreciated and will make a tremendous difference in the quality of services we can provide to our residents.”

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The Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation is a private foundation that is managed and administered by a volunteer board of directors and by the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation.

The South Saskatchewan Community Foundation (SSCF) is a proud member of Community Foundations of Canada, a national membership organization that includes a network of more than 191 community foundations across Canada. Community Foundations connect donors and charitable organizations to build vital communities through grant-making and community knowledge sharing. To learn more about making your forever gift to the community, please visit www.sscf.ca