Many of us see homelessness up close here, but it can take a different perspective to look it and at the same time see some of the causes and potential solutions.
Nanaimo residents can learn more about homelessness, its causes and effects and how to help those in need, at a handful of events during Homelessness Action Week, Oct. 13-19.
“We aim to raise awareness about the challenge of addressing homelessness and to get the local community involved in the solution,” said Yvonne Borrows, Nanaimo Homeless Coalition co-chairperson, in a press release.
The coalition is a network of citizens, organizations and levels of governments working to support at-risk residents with an aim to end homelessness while diminishing the harm it causes to individuals and the community.
“Nanaimo is facing a crisis, with the number of homeless citizens increasing year-over-year. The organizations who help people facing homelessness are feeling incredible pressure to meet needs and address the issues,” Borrows said.
On Oct. 16, the Island Crisis Care Society is hosting a coffee talk at its office located at 1200 Princess Royal Ave. The event, which takes place between 9:30-11:30 a.m., is an opportunity for residents to learn more about the society’s programs.
On Oct. 17, the Salvation Army will be holding an open house between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at its 19 Nicol St. location. The open house is an opportunity for people to learn “what really goes on” there, meet volunteers and learn how they help people in Nanaimo, according to the press release, which notes that appies will be provided and tours of the facility are available.
The Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society will be holding an open house as well on Oct. 17 from 12-6 p.m. at its location on 285 Prideaux St. Founded in 1985, the 7-10 Club provides a hot breakfast, homemade soup and bagged lunch to the less fortunate. The open house is an opportunity for the public to learn about the club’s efforts and volunteers.
Also on Oct. 17, United Way Central Northern Vancouver Island and the City of Nanaimo are hosting a free film screening of the Us and Them by filmmaker Krista Loughton at 6 p.m. at Vancouver Island University Building 250, Room 125. There will also be a question period with Loughton at 7:30 p.m. Us and Them is about Loughton’s friendship with four chronically homeless people on the streets of Victoria and her efforts to help them heal, according to the press release. For more information visit www.usandthemthefilm.ca.
For more information about Homelessness Action Week, please visit www.nanaimohomelesscoalition.ca.