On September 6, 2018, Edmonton’s Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative (CRIHI) welcomed representatives from all three levels of government, and all political parties to discuss how we could respond together to the current shortage of affordable and supportive housing in Edmonton, and across the country.
The turnout from faith communities was strong, as was the participation of political representatives from the three levels of government. Many participants shared their view that this was a very meaningful and informative gathering. Here is what we did together:
We heard spokespersons from five different traditions speak to how their communities were impacted by current housing challenges. (videos will be uploaded as they are completed)
- Rev. Deborah Hoekstra (United Church of Canada) – CRIHI co-chair
- Rev. Rick Chapman (Anglican Diocese of Edmonton) – CRIHI co-chair
- Imam Dr. Amin (Rahma Mosque; Muslim Association of Canada)
- Russell Auger (Indigenous spiritual care provider at Ambrose Place)
- Rev. Menghisteab Teclemariam (Pastor in the Eretrian community; Multicultural Health Brokers)
Following this, CRIHI spokesperson Mike Van Boom presented on the four critical priorities being forwarded as necessary and meaningful housing solutions.
- The Portable Housing Benefit
- Permanent Supportive Housing
- Mobile Support Workers
- A Vision for the Way Ahead
Following a brief coffee break, we spent thirty minutes hearing from people with lived experience at local tables.
CRIHI’s partners from the Mustard Seed, Welcome Home, Ambrose Place, Multicultural Health Brokers and E4C arranged for twelve people at different tables. This was a very meaningful portion of the event, and highlighted successes, challenges and needs of people trying to find their way.
CRIHI then invited five political representatives to respond on behalf of their party or government. Videos of their responses are below:
Michael Walters, Edmonton City Council
Randy Boissonault, Liberal Party of Canada (Federal)
Garnett Genuis, Conservative Party of Canada (Federal)
Lori Sigurdson, New Democratic Party (Provincial)
Laila Goodridge, United Conservative Party (Provincial)
A note of thanksgiving!
CRIHI would like to express enormous gratitude to the many partners who helped make this event a great success. Special thanks to our hosts at Evangel Pentecostal Assembly, who donated their space and the time of their staff. Our gratitude to the political representatives who joined us to learn, to share their interest and give voice to the perspective of their respective political bodies. And our gratitude to the several faith communities who donated the food and refreshments that greatly enhanced our time together.
Evangel Pentecostal Assembly… very gracious hosts to this gathering!
For an additional writeup of this event, please look at the October 2018 Messenger (Anglican Diocese); the feature is on pages 1,6&7. The link is here.