By Greg Murphy
BELLEVILLE – Cathy Vanner is the program coordinator at Abigail’s Learning Centre at 119 Station Street. We spoke with her as part of our municipal election project in which we are asking the everyday people of Belleville what issues matter most to them.
Vanner has worked for the social services in Belleville for 12 years. Abigail’s Learning Centre helps parents in need of various skills, training, and educational upgrades while looking after their children in the facility’s daycare. Vanner typically sees parents between the ages of 17 to 26 walk through Abigail’s doors. She calls this demographic Belleville’s “priority population.”
When asked what issue matters most to her, Vanner was quick to explain Belleville’s dire need of more affordable housing units for people living in low income situations while raising their kids.
Also, Vanner said services like the one Abigail’s provide is always in need of community funding.
The United Way of Quinte has continuously contributed funding to Abigail’s programs.
Though she thinks Belleville is in need for more affordable housing, and that community funding for social service programs are usually a matter of importance, Vanner said access to daycare in the community has improved over the 12 years she has worked for Belleville’s social services.