On July 22, 2013 IFHI’s Steering Committee met with David Hancock, Minister of Human Services, at the Legislature. IFHI was represented by Bran Kieley, Catherine Douglas, Don Koots, Fraser Williamson, Mark Stanley, Audrey Brooks, Pam Reichenbach, Bob McKeon, and Claire Rolheiser (replacing Sr. Mary Clare from Welcome Home/CSS).
Also attending the meeting were the Deputy Minister, Steve McDonald, and Wendy Rodgers (Director of Operations for the Human Services Ministry).
IFHI gave a presentation Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative – its history, vision, members, accomplishments to date, and future plans. Fraser and Clare spoke in some detail of their experience with the Welcome Home program. The Minister appeared briefed and knowledgeable about our work and he spoke quite positively of our
efforts. He stated that the Ten Year Plan and Housing First were continuing priorities of his government.
Housing Action Guide:
- has been recently updated – copies can be obtained through Maria Baca at email@example.com.
Terwillegar Social Housing Project
- Over the last few weeks, Edmonton media outlets have had much to say about a proposed social housing development in Terwillegar. This project is sponsored by the Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre on land to be leased from Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
- It is a 60 unit project, and designed to assist those seeking housing through the Housing First program.
- Murray Soroka, the project developer at Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre, has provided basic information sheets on this project and has indicated that there will be public information sessions concerning this project at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on August 8th and 15th followed by a large public meeting on Thursday, August 22 at a location still to be determined in the Terwillegar area. Murray is asking for support from members of faith communities for this project. A first step is to learn more about the project. Feel free to contact Murray Soroka at 780-908-6309 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre also has a Facebook page with updated information. We can initiate discussions in our own congregations and faith community meetings. Attendance at community meetings can help.
Social Housing in Neighbourhoods Outside the Urban Core
- The Steering Committee has decided that a major issue for our next plenary meeting in the fall is how faith communities can help facilitate positive conversations about social housing in local neighbourhoods outside of the urban core. It is easy for positions to get polarized around a specific project proposal; especially if there have not been previous conversations in the local community about this issue.
Welcome Home Project
- Has celebrated its first anniversary
- Volunteers are still being recruited
- A short video on Welcome Home can now be viewed online at: http://www.catholicsocialservices.ab.ca/CatholicSocialServices/News.aspx?id=26062
- For information, contact the Welcome Home team at Catholic Social Services 780-378-2544.
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