Last week, the Vancouver Sun published a series looking at the deep and complex challenges facing Vancouver's DTES. The articles tackle the inadequate coordination of services and funding in the area, the NIMBYism of other communities which results in the ongoing centralizing of services in the DTES, and the need for an innovative and comprehensive strategy that promises real change.
Scott Clark (ED of ALIVE) offers insight into the steps that decision-makers, including all levels of government, funders, and service-delivery agencies, must take to address the current situation. This means developing a new approach based on principles of empowerment and sustainability, reflective of the needs and aspirations of marginalized groups. Like others, ALIVE believes that all 24 Vancouver communities must become more supportive and inclusive of vulnerable individuals and families including low-income and Aboriginal populations. Too often, the traditional silo-segregated model of service delivery results in duplicated efforts and gaps in service at the expense of already vulnerable groups who continue to 'fall through the cracks'. The place-based model championed by ALIVE is participatory and people-centred, seeking to build upon and connect existing services and programs to offer coordinated, holistic service responses. Services and resources must be accessible in all neighbourhoods if we are to make any significant progress towards building healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities in Vancouver where everyone is able to claim their right to occupy and use city space.
Have you heard about Vancouver's Healthy City for All Strategy yet? The Healthy City for All Strategy is a framework to work towards a Vancouver where everyone can thrive.
The City of Vancouver recently launched the “Talk Healthy City for All” engagement process for the Healthy City Strategy. This is your chance to take part and get involved.
The City of Vancouver is asking you to share your bold and innovative ideas for reaching the Strategy’s targets over the next decade - on the online forum, through social media, at in-person ideas labs, or by hosting your own event.
Visit www.vancouver.ca/healthycity4all for more details - watch the video, check out the goals and targets, sign up for a SoapBox account and start posting your best and boldest ideas (and vote, comment and add to others). City staff and the Healthy City for All Leadership Table will be listening.
Plus, you could win a chance to discuss your idea with local and global social innovators at the Social Innovation Exchange Ideas Festival on May 30, or learn additional skills to turn your idea into action with a scholarship to attend the THNK Creative Leadership workshop hosted by FUEL on May 30!
The Vancouver Foundation has recently joined ALIVE and our partners (including Motivate Canada, Parks Board, the City of Vancouver, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and 8 Vancouver Community Centres) in supporting the Gen 7 Aboriginal Youth Role Model Program. We are pleased to have the support of the Vancouver Foundation on this exciting project, and are looking forward to see how Gen 7 grows and develops in the new year!
At this time, we would also like to introduce the 2014 Gen 7 Youth Messengers and some of the fantastic team members supporting them in this project:
ALIVE (Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement) Society exists to promote, enhance and foster the social, economic, and cultural well-being and health of Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver. ALIVE creates opportunities for urban Aboriginals in Vancouver to fully engage as citizens in their neighborhoods and city by working within a place-based framework to develop inclusive strategies to support Aboriginal individuals, families and extended families where they find themselves. Founded in 2010, ALIVE now has 626 Aboriginal members and counting!
ALIVE strives to build effective partnerships and collaborations and promote initiatives and strategies that enhance the experiences of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Vancouver. A recent Environics Institute Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study (UAPS) supports our findings that the majority of Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver feel empowered to contribute to community life within their neighborhoods -- we feel that we can make Vancouver a better place to live. The UAPS reports that for most Aboriginal peoples success means a balanced life close to family and friends, raising healthy well-adjusted children who contribute positively to their communities. Unfortunately, Aboriginal peoples in our city must overcome multiple barriers to participation in communities, including feelings of stigmatization and negative experiences accessing supports such as housing, social assistance and child welfare. ALIVE believes that, using a place-based strategy, we can create avenues for Aboriginal citizens to have meaningful impacts in their communities and to negotiate their role in the urban ‘place’ on their own terms.