Strengthening Hope Project is inviting residents of Hope to discuss homelessness in the community with them on Feb. 1.
A Community Dialogue session takes place Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m to 9 p.m., at the Hope Golf Club in order to hear the community’s concerns and “co-create solutions for homelessness and to improve health and safety of unsheltered people in the community of Hope.”
A session for seniors will also be available at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall Br. #228 in Hope on Feb. 22, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“It is important to hear from the community,” says Ron Van Wyk, project co-ordinator. “Voices need to be heard, because we know that homelessness is not reducing. Unfortunately, there are still more and more people living in shelters. It puts stress on communities. And we want to talk about that but collectively as a community. Particularly, what is the response to the challenges associated? And also, to the humanity involved in all of this?”
The session is part of the Strengthening Hope Project, “a joint project of the District of Hope, Fraser Health, United Way of British Columbia and Hope and Area Transition Society.” This project will address ongoing issues related to homelessness in Hope through “outreach, community engagement, and education” in order to find a common understanding about it. Through this understanding, it is hoped that a best possible response and plan can be formed to help the community.
The goal of this project is to draft a report, to be submitted to the District of Hope either by the end of March or beginning of April, full of valuable recommendations and solutions to alleviate homelessness in Hope.
“Before we go back to the communities, we want to say this is what we have heard from you and these are the things that we want [to put into] the report correctly,” says Van Wyk. “Once we have that, the report would be finalized and presented to council and also to BC Housing, and the other agencies interested in the project. And then [they can] respond to the action items, or the recommendations, that are in the report.”
To register for the session, visit www.eventbrite.ca/e/strengthening-hope-project-community-dialogue-tickets-507766412007.
An online survey is also available at uwbc.ca/homelessness-in-hope.
READ MORE: Community consulation key to Hope’s homelessness project
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