Annual ‘Hope Day’ gives identity
- Campbell Stevenson | November 17, 2023
The Queen City Wellness Pharmacy hosted a ‘Hope Day ID Clinic’.
An initiative to assist many of their relatives (clients) to obtain the necessary identification to acquire housing, medical attention, and different forms of identification.
Sarah Kozusko, manages and operates the Queen City wellness pharmacy, she along her team recognized the need from their clients who required basic but necessary docuements.
“If you don’t have ID, you don’t have an onramp into the system,” she said. “You can’t get social services, you can’t see a doctor, you can’t get a job, you can’t get a house... So, we’ve been trying to find ways to get some of those barriers down for years.”
The inaugural ‘ID Clinic’ became a bigger development than initially intended. By 10:05 am, nearly 50 people were lined up.
“Today, what started off with just treaty cards, is now expanded into service Canada coming, Ehealth being on board, SGI…So people will be able to get all the things they need in one day to have an on ramp back into the system.”
This initiative, amongst many others, stemmed from the loss of Vivian “Marjorie” Friday, two years ago. She was a strong advocate, and beacon of light for those experiencing houselessness.
This October, Marjorie would have been celebrating her 63rd birthday.
Her lasting impact continues to be honoured.
Several housing initiatives, and the city of Regina proclaimed Oct. 6th as “HOPE DAY.”
As members of the community, representing all age groups, gathered at the pharmacy, multiple organizations and agencies began assisting the various needs of the public.
SGI, alongside Service Canada, assisted with benefit applications and payments for relatives.
The Newo-Yotina Friendship Centre helped clients fill out applications to obtain their birth certificates and health cards.
The Ochapowace Urban representatives facilitated the issuance of status cards for band members.
Additionally, Indigenous Service Canada (ISC) and the Regina Police Community Engagement were present to help out.
Tyler McMurchy, spokesperson for SGI, expressed gratitude on behalf of SGI for being able to take part in this event,
“I think we really need to give a lot of credit to the Queen City Wellness Pharmacy,” said McMurchy. “By bringing all these different organisations together, to solve some of these issues for people. It’s a really fantastic thing they’re doing.”
In the near future, the pharmacy plans to hold additional ID clinics, with the hopes that these critical services will increasingly collaborate to assist those who require help.
“We need this to be a wider change,” said Kozusko. “So, I hope these pop-up clinics are happening regularly, and having it in a permanent place would be wonderful…As it stands right now, there’s nowhere in the city where you can get everything done…If you’re already living in trauma, you’re maybe not worrying about your follow-up the next day. So, having it all here and making things easy is what I hope to see happen.”
The first Hope’s Day ID Clinic was a success.