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ENMAX commits $300,000 to the Distress Centre and Aspen Family and Community Network Society to help flood-affected and vulnerable Albertans

/ Calgary

While flood levels have receded, the level of stress on Albertans is on the rise. Distress Centre has seen a 38 per cent increase in calls, and that number is expected to grow the longer people remain out of their homes. In addition, Aspen Family and Community Network Society continues to support the city’s most vulnerable populations as they struggle to recover from the ripple effects of the flood.

This crisis further underscores the need to support Albertans facing challenging circumstances.  That is why Aspen Family and Community Network Society and Distress Centre are pleased to announce a $300,000 three-year commitment from ENMAX Corporation to help flood-affected and vulnerable Albertans. Through this partnership, ENMAX will work with these agencies to assist clients in times of crisis, and to identify ways to help vulnerable Albertans manage their long-term energy needs.

“This is our way to reach out to families and individuals during a time of need and assist them in making ends meet and building life skills before their situation becomes dire,” said Gianna Manes, President and CEO, ENMAX.  “With our connection to Aspen Family and Community Network Society and Distress Centre, we can refer vulnerable customers to these organizations to help them with their immediate financial strain and the underlying challenges they may be facing.  By combining our expertise, we will be able to have a larger, long-term impact in helping those in our community who need it the most.”

ENMAX will provide each agency with $150,000 over three years. The money will be used in various ways, including funding towards an energy specialist for Aspen Family and Community Network Society who can assist struggling families better manage their power consumption.

“We’ve had families who helped with evacuees, and in turn have ended up in trouble with not enough money for food, shelter and bills for themselves,” said Shirley Purves, CEO, Aspen Family and Community Network Society. “Our goal is to support people to break the cycle of poverty, creating sustainable livelihoods - for life. This partnership with ENMAX will go a long way in helping Aspen Family and Community Network Society reach that goal.”

Distress Centre is planning to use the ENMAX donation to primarily support ongoing training, supervision and development of the volunteers who provide the direct frontline support and referrals through the crisis line while continuing to support the Emergency Financial Assistance Program.

“With ENMAX’s support, we will be able to provide help to many more people,” said Distress Centre’s Executive Director Joan Roy. “We are extremely thankful for ENMAX’s partnership and the impact it will have on those who come to us seeking help during difficult times.”

For the last six years, ENMAX has worked with Aspen Family and Community Network Society through the Winter Breather Program to help people dealing with utility costs to support them through the harsh Calgary winters.

Aspen Family and Community Network Society is an established social service agency in Calgary, helping thousands of children, teens, adults and families, most of whom are living in poverty. The organization is leading a fundamental shift from just helping people cope with their problems to learning how to overcome their challenges for good and create better lives for themselves and their families. Aspen offers a variety of programs and resources ranging from foster and group homes, to outreach for new Canadians, parents and youth, as well as family support and much more.

Founded in 1970, Distress Centre provides confidential support, information and resource referrals free of charge to anyone experiencing crisis, whatever that crisis may be. Services include the 24-hour crisis line at 403-266-HELP(4357), online support at www.distresscentre.com, youth peer support services and professional no-fee crisis counseling for individuals, couples, families and groups.

ENMAX Corporation, through subsidiaries and predecessors, has provided Albertans with safe, reliable electricity for over 100 years. The ENMAX group of companies provides electricity, natural gas and value-added services to over 835,000 residential, commercial and industrial metered customer locations in Alberta. ENMAX Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of ENMAX Corporation, is Alberta’s leading competitive electricity retailer. Through subsidiaries, ENMAX Energy is one of Alberta’s largest investors in renewable energy.

Follow the announcement live on Twitter: #partnersinpower

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Gina Sutherland
Communications Advisor
ENMAX Corporation
403-689-6150 (media line)


Sherry Dahl
Director, Fund Development
Aspen Family and Community Network Society


Diane Jones-Konihowski
Sr. Manager Fund Development & Communications
Distress Centre

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