Collaborative partnership means more help for those who need it most in St. Catharines and Thorold

Each year, dozens of Brock University faculty, staff and students volunteer their time to help with one of the many services offered by Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold.

The collaborative partnership between Brock and Community Care was formalized today, Tuesday, May 28, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the community organization’s St. Catharines headquarters.

It will further strengthen an alliance between Community Care, which has been serving St. Catharines and Thorold for 100 years, and Brock, a local institution for more than half a century.

Brock University President Gervan Fearon and Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold, sign a Memorandum of Understanding Tuesday, May 28 that will see the two organizations working more closely together.

While many Brock students and staff volunteer at Community Care sites on an ongoing basis, students have also been involved in their own dedicated projects in support of the organization. The annual Trick or Eat Campaign involves students collecting canned goods each Halloween, while the 5 Days for the Homeless event sees students from Brock’s Goodman School of Business sleeping in the cold to raise money and public awareness about some of the most vulnerable members of the Niagara community.

“Strengthening this partnership will greatly enhance the services and supports to the agency, not only through experiential learning, but also through the active research component which will inform our future program delivery,” said Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold.

Every month Community Care helps about 2,000 households in St. Catharines and Thorold access food security. It also provides housing and utilities assistance, back-to-school support, ID replacement services, youth sports opportunities and many other supports.

Today’s development is the latest in a series of commitments by Brock to enhance its work with significant regional partners, such as Niagara Health and Pathstone Mental Health.

Brock President Gervan Fearon said the MOU is consistent with the University’s strategic priority of helping to advance the health and vitality of local communities.

“Indeed, this partnership enables us to make further contributions to supporting vulnerable populations in St. Catharines and Thorold,” said Fearon. “It will allow us to build on our existing partnership with Community Care and expand positive outcomes for the Niagara community.”

More of these Memoranda of Understanding between the University and community partners will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

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