By Anna McKenzie, The Discourse, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.
Every day for more than a month, Sonja Hathaway sat with her newborn baby Amella in the hospital, speaking to the infant in her Dene language.
Despite the feelings of being watched, Sonja and her husband Philip diligently spent time at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Victoria General Hospital to feed and care for their daughter.
Continue reading Indigenous couple fights for the return of their newborn daughter, taken by MCFD
By Pamela Haasen, Smithers Community Radio CICK 93.9 FM, through an LJI grant from Canada-info.ca
The town of Smithers is reviewing a 94 year old bylaw regarding temporary overnight sheltering options in 12 areas of town-owned land.
The areas are: Veterans Peace Park, Heritage Park, Elks Park, Pacific Street and Tatlow Road, Dogwood Park, Ranger Park, Tatlow Road North, The Fall Fair grounds, Central Park, Riverside Park, vacant lots at Queen Street and Alfred Avenue, and vacant 3 lots at 3873 4th Avenue.
Residents who live within 60 meters of any of the aforementioned sites received a letter indicating this possible the bylaw change.
Continue reading Town Bylaw change to allow overnight sheltering for Smithers’ homeless population
By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Vancouver Island, BC – This past holiday season saw what seemed like endless snow filling communities throughout Vancouver Island. As the snow fell, the social services sectors worked hard through the month tending to weather and holiday needs of vulnerable people.
Among some services that were needed was the Salvation Army’s emergency weather response program, which provides extra mats in shelters to meet the demands of unhoused folks.
Continue reading ‘Staggering’ number of first-time users during holidays, says Salvation Army
Currents interviewed Mark Vonesch in early December. This is the second half of that interview, in which we dig a lot more deeply into issues related to housing on Cortes and in the local area: homelessness, employment, property values, AirBnB and much more.
We present here some excerpts from nearly 30 minutes of audio. Our interview covered quite a bit more ground: homelessness in Campbell River, and their approach to it; property tax structures and how they could be made more equitable; the related issue of a real estate market in which, as with rent, locals cannot compete with tourists and rusticators; the fundamental problem of treating housing as a speculative investment commodity. We recommend listening to the entire podcast for the most complete information.
Continue reading Housing on Cortes: an Interview with Mark Vonesch (part two)
As Currents recently reported, homelessness is not just “an American thing,” or “a big-city thing,” or even “a Vancouver Island thing.” Homelessness is also here on Cortes, where a recent survey found that about 50 people rated their housing situation as “unstable,” and 11 were living rough (with no permanent shelter, in tents or other makeshift accommodation).
Although “housing” might sound like a single issue, it has has knock-on effects throughout our community.
Continue reading A New Approach to Homelessness: Housing First