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Square One AGM hears 2022 reports, elects board, reaffirms need for more data

The Square One Community, Inc. Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 12 presented an outline of an incredibly significant year as the organization looks to transition from shelter advocacy to shelter operation at William Milne Place.
Participants gather outside of Zion United Church on March 9 for Square One's inaugural Walk for Warmth

The Square One Community, Inc. annual general meeting (AGM) on April 12 presented an outline of an incredibly significant year as the organization looks to transition from shelter advocacy to shelter operation at William Milne Place.

“2022 (was) a monumental year for Square One Community,” said Square One president Della Ferguson in her report. “This year has been a testament to the immense efforts of the Square One Community committees through grant applications, advocacy meeting, partnership discoveries, fundraising efforts, cold weather and food strategy implementation, and communications through all mediums.

“This team was recently called ‘tenacious’ by (Mayor Clive Tolley), and that describes the people and efforts perfectly.”

Square One Community, Inc. governing officers elected for the 2023-2024 year are:

  • President — Della Ferguson
  • Vice-President — Crystal Froese
  • Treasurer — Paul Wilder
  • Secretary — Mary-Lee Booth
  • Member-at-large — Susan Karner
  • Member-at-large — Anne-Marie Ursan
  • Member-at-large — Lori Deets
  • Member-at-large — Crystal Lockyer
  • Member-at-large — Christine Boyczuk

“The year began with a discernment process in determining the gaps in service in our community regarding out unhoused and housing-insecure kin,” Ferguson said. She explained that anecdotal evidence showed the need for a warming space and emergency women’s shelter, but noted that anecdotal evidence is not enough to secure sustainable funding.

“We are currently working with provincial and national organizations to perform an official Point in Time (PiT) Count using national standards and protocols.”

Square One has secured shelter space at William Milne Place as of April 2. They have concluded a job search for a general manager for the new shelter and will soon make an announcement on that position.

The non-profit faces a steep learning curve in 2023 as they establish their brick-and-mortar location. The opportunity comes with a thick layer of bureaucratic reporting and standards requirements.

During the grant committee report from Christine Boyczuk, she acknowledged that while they had some notable successes in 2022, a lack of solid observational data was the greatest barrier to Square One’s funding applications.

“A lot of the grants (we investigated) required certain information which we did not have,” she explained. “That’s why the PiT Count is so important, that we will hold in the near future. Those numbers are really important.”

The PiT Count is a nationally standardized method for counting unhoused or housing insecure individuals in a given area. It requires many volunteers and careful planning around safety, proper reporting, and more. It is worth the effort because the results are submitted to a national database and will make Moose Jaw eligible for much more support.

Only 61 communities across Canada have official PiT Count data — Moose Jaw would only be the fourth municipality in Saskatchewan to conduct one, after Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert.

Other reports submitted during the AGM included an itemized fundraising report from Ferguson; a report from communications co-ordinator Crystal Lockyer on website and social media engagement progress; a partnerships report from Crystal Froese; and financial reporting from former treasurer Ashley Florent.

Square One’s financial report illustrated the dramatic momentum the board is supervising. At the last AGM, Square One's total income was $12,778 as of Dec. 31, 2021. Expenses for 2021 totalled $3,450.65, leaving a balance as of Dec. 31, 2021, of $9,327.35.

As of Dec. 31, 2022, by contrast, Square One’s revenue was $51,221.46. Expenses were $29,790.84, for a net income of $21,430.62. Combined with retained earnings, the Square One balance sheet on Dec. 31, 2022 was $30,757.97.

That amount does not include any activities in 2023. For example, Square One’s Walk for Warmth on March 9, 2023 raised $37,451.81, making it their largest ever fundraiser.

Paul Wilder, Square One’s new treasurer, presented an engagement review from local accounting firm S.N. Roy & Associates that confirmed all accounts had been balanced. If a future audit is required, it will be conducted by Benson Trithardt Noren Professional Accountants.

“Nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the financial statements do not present fairly in all material respects the financial position of Square One Community, Inc. as of Dec. 31, 2022,” Wilder reported. “And that’s exactly how it should read for a gold-star review.”

Keep an eye on Square One at the following links to stay up to day with what promises to be their most dynamic year yet:

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