Student Energy in Action for Regina Community Health (SEARCH)
SEARCH is a student-run health clinic out of Four Directions Community Health Center in Regina’s core neighbourhood. Under normal circumstances, every Saturday approximately 8-15 student volunteers and 4-5 mentors come together to provide child minding, programming, a warm meal, and a walk-in clinic and counselling appointments. When COVID came to Saskatchewan, SEARCH was forced to adapt and prioritize their programming.
Emily Barber, SEARCH’s executive director explains that, “We had the curveball of having all of our student volunteers pulled…. Everything was totally understandable, but it just meant that we couldn’t open our doors.”
All programs have ceased, except for the SEARCH lunch program. SEARCH has partnered with Four Directions to provide about 150 meals every Saturday, which is double the amount they would usually serve at a regular SEARCH shift. While they distribute lunches, they are also able share condoms, naloxone kits and provide information on staying healthy during COVID-19.
Despite having no students able to volunteer at this time, SEARCH has still managed to respond to the needs of the community. “It is just exemplifying our connection to the community.” Emily said. “We just turned 11 years old. So turning 11 and existing in this community, we are a part of this community and we know just how much our food security and all of our programs are relied upon by so many folks who live nearby… The meal program is the one thing that we could figure out that we could still do.”
SEARCH is sharing updates on their Facebook and Instagram stories and encouraging people to come early or call ahead if they are in great need of receiving a lunch.