From the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness:
Engage Yellowknifers in the movement to end homelessness.
There is no doubt that Yellowknifers are committed to making this community a better place to live. Residents are extensively engaged in volunteering, donating, and increasing awareness about social issues. The potential to increase the community’s goodwill to support the Plan is tremendous. The Plan calls for leveraging of public education, awareness, fundraising, and volunteerism efforts, particularly with an already engaged business community via the Homeful Partnership.
Looking to community building efforts from a Reconciliation perspective, ongoing community events can celebrate Indigenous cultures and create a welcoming and positive space for those experiencing hardship and to reduce stigma. Events such as community feasts, led by Elders, can become part of the healing work at the individual and community levels as well, creating connection and trust. Here, the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Centre can play a key role in facilitating broader engagement, knowledge about, and celebration of Indigenous culture.
Working with the media, business sector, volunteers, and Indigenous leaders, public understanding about homelessness in the context of Reconciliation can challenge reactive approaches to this complex social issue. This can help balance the concerns for enhanced public safety with the need for long term solutions. The role of the Yellowknife Homelessness Commission in this community awareness work is also essential: showing leadership in a coordinated fashion, and keeping the issue on the public and political agenda will be essential to maintaining momentum.
Two of the suggested actions for this are:
- Develop and implement an ongoing marketing and communications strategy to increase public engagement and action on homelessness.
- Create learning opportunities to enhance participation in ending homelessness through volunteering, and to enhance knowledge about root causes of homelessness in colonialism.
As Mayor, following through on this plan – including these actions – will be one of my key priorities. If you have ideas on how residents can be help out, I’d love to hear from you: email@example.com