Homelessness Action Week (HAW) is a collaborative of communities and organizations designed to raise public awareness of homelessness and support local solutions. HAW is organized by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness.
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (SVNH) is proud to be participating in HAW 2016 by holding a series of youth-led workshops for BC Housing residents in South Vancouver. Workshops will focus on key issues such as food security and affordable housing. Currently, 55% of the population in Champlain Heights are youth aged 13-24 years of age. The SVNH project, NEW HEIGHTS, will build on challenges identified for housing and homelessness to engage youth to create community relationships and structures that support youth and caring adults to reclaim their community and transform the neighbourhood. Key challenges identified to address youth homelessness are: 1. Linking food security programming with housing, 2. Creating collaborations for housing resources, 3. Lack of job development schemes for vulnerable populations and 4. Lack of community.
NEW HEIGHTS kicked off in August by engaging a working group of 25 youth who were involved with BC Housing STEP program, a summer pre-employment program with job training/placements for youth ages 15-18 years. Volunteers from this core group of youth are partnering with a volunteer team of newcomer youth as a Youth Advisory Council to train, plan and host two food security workshops and one Community Dinner celebration in October. These workshops are designed to build community connections in Champlain and increase food security and awareness of food justice issues. The Community Dinner will serve as a resource night to celebrate and build capacity of the Champlain neighbourhood to raise awareness of youth homelessness and leverage opportunities to address affordable housing needs in conjunction with food justice in South Vancouver.
Resource Night / Community Dinner: October 21, 5:00-8:30pm at Champlain Community Centre. Space is limited; if you are interested in attending please email email@example.com or call 604-324-6212.
A big thank you to Lupii Café for their generous support of this initiative by providing training workshops for the Youth Advisory Council, for lending their space, and for helping prepare the Community Dinner.
Mayor Gregor Robertson presents the 2016 Homelessness Action Week Proclamation to youth involved in HAW projects at Frog Hollow NH and South Vancouver NH in recognition of youth taking action to address homelessness in Vancouver.