Here are a number of great ways to begin the work of getting informed, either on your own or with people from your faith community.
- Learn more about homelessness in our community and what is being done through Edmonton’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness: A Place to Call Home, www.endedmontonhomelessness.com
- Have your congregation view videos or invite a guest speaker from a front line agency to educate them about the work being done to end homelessness in Edmonton. Videos such as the stories of hope from Edmonton’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness: A Place to Call Home share the progress achieved so far in under 10 minutes and can be incorporated easily into a worship service or meeting. http://homelesscommission.org/index.php/ progress/true-stories-of-hope
- Join with members of the inner city community to mourn the loss of those who have died from homelessness in Edmonton. The Edmonton Homeless Memorial Remembrance Celebration occurs annually, usually in May or June. For more information visit: www.ecohh.ca
- Read the Alberta Street News to stay connected with the community, albertastreetnews.org
- Check out the website of Homeward Trust for the latest statistics and news about ending homelessness in Edmonton, www.homewardtrust.ca
- Check out The Homeless Hub for information on homelessness across Canada, www.homelesshub.ca
- Invite us to lead an affordable Housing conversation in your community. We will work with you to connect with neighbourhood partners like community leagues, schools, social workers, the police and local businesses to do some listening and learning together. Contact Mike@interfaithhousing.ca
- Use your social media influence for good. Follow us on Twitter @IfhiEdm and Facebook Inter-Faith Housing Initiative and re-tweet or repost to your friends and followers. Help spread the word to everyone in Edmonton that we are working together to end homelessness.
- Learn more about Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal people represent 41% of those experiencing homelessness, according to the 2014 Homeless Count. While several faith congregations have established strong ties to Edmonton’s Aboriginal community, there is still much more to do and learn. Homeward Trust offers workshops about Indigenous Culture to assist those working on housing issues. Visit www.homewardtrust.ca for more information
- Host a Poverty workshop. Poverty is complicated. Learn more by hosting a workshop about topics such as: the causes of poverty, redefining poverty, de-bunking myths and stereotypes about poverty and homelessness, why charity doesn’t work, boundaries for people working or volunteering in poverty alleviation, addictions and mental health, and moving towards a community development approach to poverty. Facilitator Paula Cornell is a Registered Social Worker with 8 years of front line experience working directly with people experiencing poverty and homelessness. Her workshops are engaging, interactive and informative, and can be formatted to suit the unique interests of your group in both content and length (from 1 hour to a whole day). email: firstname.lastname@example.org