Category Archives: Social Issues

Linking affordable housing with community McCauley Apartments provides security and support

McCauley Apartments is a success story. The building, located in the heart of McCauley, provides affordable housing and support for people facing mental illness and disability as well as those in need.

“I love living here. I would not change a thing,” said Chris Leclair, a resident of McCauley Apartments.

He moved to the apartments from Meadow’s Place group home 17 years ago, and has since built relationships.

Continue reading Linking affordable housing with community McCauley Apartments provides security and support

Community leaders of revitalization Stepping up to make your neighbourhood better

Hundreds of people have given their time to share their vision for and frustration with their neighbourhood over the years. Some of them took it further and joined a committee or worked on a project. Many residents sitting at community meetings today are the same as 11 years ago when the Avenue Initiative Revitalization started. That speaks of the commitment those residents have to making their community a better place to live, work, and play. Continue reading Community leaders of revitalization Stepping up to make your neighbourhood better

Choosing to stand up and be bold for change Solidarity is a choice on International Women’s Day

The wave of political populism currently sweeping the West is increasingly beckoning a response, especially when moral values are challenged.

Though many struggle with appropriate responses, solidarity has proven to be an accessible and powerful one. Solidarity refuses to normalize actions with which we disagree and generates momentum behind a cause. Continue reading Choosing to stand up and be bold for change Solidarity is a choice on International Women’s Day

Rethinking supervised injection sites Sites should have been linked to broader city plans

CRIS BASUALDO

In December, a coalition called Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton (AMSISE) proposed four supervised injection sites.

Supervised injection may decrease transmission of communicable diseases and provide better outcomes for people who overdose. As drug addiction affects a wide swath of society, regardless of socioeconomic status and geographic boundaries, supervised injection sites within hospitals or larger community health centres throughout our city (and province) seem reasonable. After all, hospitals or health centres are busy public places with onsite security, treatment beds, social workers, and natural surveillance.

Continue reading Rethinking supervised injection sites Sites should have been linked to broader city plans

Supervised injection sites could be a boon This model could help drug users and communities

There is ongoing concern in our communities about injection drug use in public spaces and discarded needles found in parks, alleys, and schoolyards.

In response to this concern, an interdisciplinary team called Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton (AMSISE) has addressed public health issues surrounding injection drug use in the inner city.

Continue reading Supervised injection sites could be a boon This model could help drug users and communities

Seeking a safe place for supervised injections Possible supervised injection site draws mixed feelings

In the third-floor office of the Hull Block, a red brick Edwardian building on the edge of Chinatown, Georgina Fiddler keeps a photo album most people would find unsettling.

The images capture scenes she sees during walks around the southwest corner of McCauley: discarded syringes, empty vials, and people curled up on the concrete.

“I would have called 911 on that one because he wasn’t moving,” she said, lingering on one. “A needle with blood in it, people sleeping—this is every single day, and these are only a few of the pictures I have.”

Continue reading Seeking a safe place for supervised injections Possible supervised injection site draws mixed feelings

Making giving a blessing and not a burden What organizations really need during the holidays

It’s 5 p.m. on a Monday in early December. I’ve got my camera ready, waiting to capture hungry and homeless guests who enter the dining hall at the downtown Hope Mission. I hope to share their smiles as they see the placemat a donor has signed for them. I want pictures of these guests laughing between bites of turkey and gravy so that I can share them on our website. Near the end of the meal, I’ll ask some of these guests to speak a thank you message into the camera so our donors know their money has been well spent.

Continue reading Making giving a blessing and not a burden What organizations really need during the holidays

Bringing police presence to city schools Student Resource Officer helps youth and the community

Constable Price is often found patrolling the streets and back alleyways surrounding Spruce Avenue Junior High School and Rosslyn Junior High School, keeping an eye out for mischief that could find its way to the school yard.

Since September, Price has been the School Resource Officer (SRO) for both schools. She is part of the initiative program that began in September to bring SROs to junior high schools.

Continue reading Bringing police presence to city schools Student Resource Officer helps youth and the community

Fixing Edmonton’s affordable housing problem The slow progress to creating better housing strategies

Through boom and bust, calls for action on affordable housing have prevailed for at least a generation. Despite countless announcements and interventions from various levels of governments over the past decade, the situation continues to get worse rather than better.

At the end of September, Mayor Don Iveson joined other big city mayors in Toronto to ask the federal government for a major infusion of money for affordable housing. Iveson has joined his counterparts across Canada in referring to the affordable housing situation as a “crisis”.

Continue reading Fixing Edmonton’s affordable housing problem The slow progress to creating better housing strategies

Finances a matter of family and community Money Mentors helps people get a handle on debt

People are often put off by the topic of money management. The Norwood Wesleyan Church helped parishioners get past their reluctance with a workshop.

Sound finances empowers people and communities, explained Phillip Telfer, Wesleyan pastor.

“Realizing money is a tool and using it well to help you and those around you. It means using your money to love people,” Telfer said.

Continue reading Finances a matter of family and community Money Mentors helps people get a handle on debt