A new report is taking a closer look at the vitality of southern Saskatchewan communities and how to improve quality of life.
The South Saskatchewan Community Foundation (SSCF) released its 2018 Vital Signs report Thursday.
Karen Henders, director of programs and operations at SSCF, said it’s important to see how people connect within communities and what services they access.
“This is one more way we actually share local knowledge, combined with statistical data, to understand more about our quality of life,” Henders said.
“It does provide a snapshot — it covers areas of interest to a community foundation.”
Out of a 2016 report of the same name, the foundation recognized three key area of focus: pursuing reconciliation, welcoming newcomers and building economic inclusion.
In the area of welcoming newcomers, for example, the report noted agencies have outlined where some crucial supports don’t exist — such as employment bridging programs, mentorships for workers and standard processes to assess foreign credentials.
On the positive side, participants indicated that settlement agencies, faith and cultural groups along with the Regina Public Library were all helpful resources for newcomers.
Henders noted the information they gathered will be used to help the foundation hone in its strategic goals.
“You can’t do everything, and we what we do want, we want to do well,” she said.
In no particular order, other notable findings include:
- Between January 2015 and July 2018, Saskatchewan received and resettled a total of 4,115 refugees; 1,495 of whom are in Regina, 315 in Moose Jaw, 15 in Estevan and 15 in Swift Current.
- Regina has welcomed 16,075 immigrants between January 2011 and May 2016.
- In 2017, the Regina Food Bank had 91,550 requests for services. Children were 41 per cent of the total number served. Tracked by fiscal year, service requests have actually gone down over the last few years — from 113,990 in 2013-14, to 89,828 in 2017-18.
- In 2016, 9.3 per cent of Regina’s population identified as Indigenous.
- In 2016, the average age of the city’s Indigenous population was 27.4 years; the average age for the rest of the population is 39.
- The senior population (55+) in Regina makes up more than a quarter of the city’s overall population.
- Two-thirds of people in Saskatchewan are personally involved in an artistic activity which is the highest rate in Canada.
The report also found the median charitable donation in Regina was $390 and $420 in Saskatchewan, both rates are well above the national average of $300.
The province also has a volunteer rate of 58 per cent, the highest in Canada where the national average is 47 per cent of the population.
The SSCF was founded in 1969 as a long-term endowment fund pooling together visionary philanthropists’ and organizations’ money to invest together at a higher return.
Last year, with a pool of just over $71 million, the SSCF granted $6.2 million to more than 195 registered charities.