Friday April 29, 2011

 

It's The Plan, Stan

Community strategies to tackle crime, homelessness and mental health/drug addiction

Submitted by Starlee Renton, City of Chilliwack

 

public open house will be held on May 11, 2011 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Cultural Centre on 9201 Corbould Street, to present the draft Chilliwack Healthier Community Strategic Action Plan and invite the public to get involved. A collaborative effort involving government, community agencies, faith groups and individuals, the draft Plan focuses on a community-wide approach to addressing Chilliwack's most significant and persistent social issues.

A presentation outlining the history, context, current outcomes and next steps for the Healthier Community process will be given at 4:15 pm and repeated at 7:00 pm. The public is invited to attend the presentations, view displays of each of the draft Plan goal areas and to discuss the Plan and process with those who participated in conceiving the draft.

 

There will be opportunities to provide comment on the draft and for people to consider how they may like to get involved in implementation of the Plan.

Previous community initiatives identified three priority areas to address to create a healthier community; crime, homelessness, and mental health and addictions. Previous initiatives also called for community wide collaboration and coordinated action as strategies to tackle these issues.

"I'm very pleased with outcomes of this process," said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz. "It strongly reflects the good work that has been done in the community over the years and provides a framework for moving forward. Key to it's success will be the ongoing involvement of the community in taking action. I encourage our residents to come to the Open House, look at the Plan, and see how they'd like to get involved."

In October and November 2010, seventy-eight people representing more than thirty organizations participated in one or more engagement sessions to develop the Healthier Community Strategic Action Plan.

 

The process identified community strengths, issues and opportunities, set priorities and developed a shared vision of a Healthier Community. It was guided by a steering committee that included broad representation from the health, education and social service sectors. The City of Chilliwack acted as a coordinator of the process and provided staff resources to support the collaboration.

More than twenty-five youth from Sardis, Chilliwack, and GW Senior high schools, Stó:lō Alternate School, Chilliwack Community Services and Chilliwack Alcohol and Drug Services Youth programs participated in a parallel youth consultation session and a public online survey yielded seventy-five responses.

The draft Plan, to be presented at the Open House, summarizes the process, outlines the community's goals in seven priority areas and lists the objectives and proposed action steps for each area.

Through March and April 2011, participants in the Healthier Community Strategic Plan process reviewed the draft plan. The Plan was also forwarded to civic committees dealing with health, housing and public safety for their input and coordination with annual plans.

"The Plan as it stands, focuses on opportunities for coordination and partnership, and is intended as a guiding document for the community, one that will change over time as new priorities emerge and as goals are achieved," said Gaetz.

Following the Open House, the draft Plan will be revised to reflect community feedback and an implementation plan will get underway.

For additional information on the Healthier Community Strategic Plan visit:
www.chilliwack.com

 

 

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