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is a Vancouver-based nonprofit organization that specializes in providing information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC. Our help line services include 211, the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS), the Problem Gambling Help Line, VictimLink BC, and the Youth Against Violence Line.

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What is The Social Planning Council?


o Monthly Meetings: Attend meetings with guest speakers from within the community &/or presentations at each meeting. We currently meet the fourth Monday of every month (excluding summer) at City Hall with light lunch by donation.

o Facebook & Email Group: Utilize the network on Facebook. Start discussions, learn about & share upcoming community events, projects and meetings. If you don’t use Facebook, then join the email network instead.

o Inform City Council: The SPC provides reports to City Council regularly and the City keeps the SPC informed. Use the network and have your voices heard.

Strategic Direction of the Social Planning Council of Williams Lake & Area:

o Poverty Reduction and the local Living Wage Campaign.

o Community Collaboration and Networking.

o Retention and Succession of residents within the Area.

Community Social Planning:

o Supports communities in building an integrated approach to complex problems that take into account social, economic, and environmental concerns.

o Maximizes the effectiveness of often scarce resources by working to reduce duplication, overlap and competition.

o Provides an ongoing forum for communication, coordination and conflict resolution.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Community Updates (17) - Feb 26, 2016

Table of Contents:
1) Next SPC Meeting is on Feb 29, 2016 from 11:30 am - 1 pm
2) Daybreak Rotary Club's 25th Annual Giant Used Booksale - Feb 13 - 27
3) Performances in the Park - Call for Performers - application deadline Mar 3/16
4) Free public Talk - Cruising North America's Great Loop & the Bahamas
5) Women's Contact Society's Annual Bridal/Womens Fair Mar 6th
6) Ready-to-Raise Online Webinars - Mar 1 - 4th (10 - 11am)
7) Who's Who Event on March 8, 2016 at the Signal Point Gaming Center at 6:30pm. 
8) Free Training Session on FASD - Mar 8th from 9am - 3 pm @ Friendship Society
9) New Racism Awareness Network - next meeting & two upcoming presentations
10) Positive Action Word of the Week(s)
11) Reminder - Hospice Training Begins this April
13) TRU's Program Info Night: Human Services & Educational Assistant & Community Support
14) TRU's Annual "Diamonds & Denim" fundraiser - Apr 2, 2016
15) TRU bring in Gabor Mate to talk "Peer Orientation" - Apr 15/16 from 10 am - 4:30 pm
16) CCACS: Let us know what you think in the 2016 Arts centre user survey
17) Free Public Information Session 2 (of 6)*: Understanding Substance Use

View this newsletter online at: http://cm.pn/1mbl

Thursday, February 25, 2016

SPC Monthly Meeting Minutes (draft) - Jan 25, 2016

SPC Monthly Meeting Minutes (draft)
Jan 25, 2016 - 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Location: City of Williams Lake (Rick Hansen Boardroom)
In attendance (from sign in sheet): Janette Moller, Sharon Taylor, Leah Selk, Monica Johnson, Joanne Meyrick, Shannon Thom, Anne Burrill, Diane Wright, Cathy, James, Margaret-Anne Enders, Carla Bullinger, Bruce Mack, Jessica Knodel, Jay Goddard, and Marleen Morris.

Accept Minutes & Agenda
·   Reviewed meeting minutes from Oct 26, 2015
Motion to accept minutes as presented - MFSC
·   Review meeting agenda for Jan 25, 2016
Motion to accept agenda as presented - MFSC
·   Revisit action items from last meeting:

Action - Invite Laurie Walters & GP for Me to future meeting - DONE (presenting in Feb 2016)
Action - determine date of March SPC meeting. Motion was made to change March SPC monthly meeting date to March 21st due to Easter Monday holiday - MFSC

CCPL presentation
Presentation on the local Partner Assisted Learning (PAL) one-on-one mentorship program by the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy in celebration of Family Literacy Week with Janette Moller and Carla Bullinger.

Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society
"Partner Assisted Learning" (PAL)

Why is Literacy is a problem?

  • One major factor is that many adults leave school with low reading skills. In the Cariboo 22% of adults have not completed high school.
  • 75% of British Columbians with high literacy rate consider themselves as being in excellent or very good health, compared to only 30% of those with low literacy.
  • 40% of adults in BC do not have the skills to read a newspaper, fill out a job application or read a map.
  • Immigrants learning English often have a significant lower literacy, with 60% testing below a grade 3 level.
  • 49% of Canadians cannot understand credit card interest, calculate a tip, or create a budget.
  • Only 20% of BC adults with low literacy participate in adult education or training in a given year, compared to 75% of those at a high level.
  • We know literacy is a "use it or lose it skill" and people who have difficulty reading tend to avoid it so their skills get weaker with age.
We are here to help!
Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society (CCPL) has been leading community based literacy activism in the Cariboo Chilcotin, beginning in 1997 and becoming a registered society in 2000. CCPL was established in response to literacy as a serious social and economic issue in the Cariboo Chilcotin. CCPL is a non profit society. Members of CCPL are actively involved in promoting literact by becoming involved in community events raising community awareness.

  • Partner Assisted Learning (PAL) is a sector of CCPL and is a program which provides a free, learner-centred literacy tutoring program supporting learners aged 19 or older.
  • PAL is tailored to the participants needs in reading, writing, oral communication, information technology, participation while focusing on increased skills and confidence.
  • PAL provides learning opportunities through initiating and supporting learners in pursuing educational goals.
  • The long term outcome of PAL is to have a community comprised of literate, productive, healthy citizens regardless of age or background.
  • PAL promotes volunteerism and engages in community events
  • PAL supports learners in accessing services appropriate to their needs.
  • PAL is sensitive to the needs of our citizens including seniors. PAL presently has 29 skilled long term volunteers and 100 short and long term learners.
What we can do?
  • Each year, PAL trains volunteer tutors who work with learners one-to-one and in groups.
  • PAL's volunteer tutors and coordinators often work with learners in a small group setting.
  • PAL supports the learner with reading, writing, math, oral communication, participation and computer literacy.
  • PAL coordinators and volunteers can facilitate workshops for small groups topics may include - How to Increase Skills ( e.g. resume writing or basic computer techniques) or Building Self-Confidence (e.g. dressing for success).
  • PAL can support learners with obtaining their grade 12 though GROW.
  • PAL tutors and coordinators volunteer time to help students with editing their assignment (TRU).
  • PAL coordinators and volunteers participate in community events.
How it works
  • The potential learner can call or stop by the office. An intake appointment is made (sometimes available by just drop-in). Referrals can be made by other service providers who contact the CCPL. Learners are then matched with tutors who schedule sessions at times and locations that work best for them both.
  • Incredible resources are available in the tutoring room at the HOY House office.
Stop By or Contact Us!
Contact Janette: janette@caribooliteracy.com, 250-392-7833 or 250-392-8161 or stop by the HOY House at 68 South Third Ave in Williams Lake (across from Remax). Visit us online at www.caribooliteracy.com

What can people do to help?

Volunteer for one-to-one learning opportunities (and/or in small group settings).

Help people through GROW learning centre

Assist TRU students who need help.

Try to make best match and make it comfortable in public places (e.g. Library). Last year an office moved to Hoy House - good space for learning (it is across from REMAX with tutor resource centre, computers, office etc.) There is a CCPL office at TRU too

Kathy (a tutor) - "The greatest experience as a teacher is to teach someone who wants to learn. It's a BIG step to ask for help to read & write".

James (a learner) came with Kathy today to share his experiences. Not only did the program help him read, it helped him grow his small business and increased his confidence. The group congratulated and thanked him for speaking publically today because it's one thing to increase your reading skill, and another to have one's confidence so improved!

Additional Anecdotal comments were read to the group and provided by hardcopy:

"When I first came to Williams Lake a year ago, I knew nothing about this city and the people living here. I had difficulty adjusting to life here as I came from one of the busiest cities in the world with a population of seven million.

One day, I came across a program names "Partners for Literacy" (PAL) written on a Thompson Rivers University's brochure. Even though PAL aims at promoting adult literacy, I thought it would also be a great opportunity to learn about the history, culture and people of the Cariboo region. When I met June, a PAL's coordinator, she was very energetic and enthusiastic about helping people. She also has an incredible memory even though she is in her nineties. Thanks to June, I was introduced to Cathy, a volunteer, who has now become my best friend and support system. Janette Moller is also PAL's coordinator, who invited me to assist others in learning how to operate a computer. I am grateful for this opportunity as it allows me to give back to the community."
(J. Chan)

"All my life I had been in a special class, it made me feel like I was not good enough. In my adult years I felt I could not obtain a job that I could be proud of. I thought that I would not ever follow directions as I had trouble with spelling and reading. In 2012 I contacted Janette Moller, PAL Coordinator and from that point on became part of the PAL program.

I continue to work with my tutor Charlene Mansell. We work on my spelling, reading, and grammar. As a result of Charlene tutoring me, my confidence is increasing and I feel great when she helps me. I also enjoy the flexibility of the PAL program.

Because of the suggestion to register for the PAL program and my increased confidence I have been able to search out and obtain better medical assistance and programs that will improve my future. I know that the PAL team are there for me. If I can do it you can do it!"
(N. Balfour)

"A fear is a fear, from the unknown of understanding any new gadgets like a tablet, computer or a new cell phone. But to surpass that fear is like opening new cells in our brains. Hooray for me."
(E. Binette)

If you would like to be a volunteer, please contact Janette to get involved (currently 29 tutors and 105 learners). Some are short term tutors projects (e.g. calculator)

Question - How has having a downtown location increased numbers? Answer - by approx 30% (rather than being at TRU). Location aside, TRU is a huge institution and is daunting for some people (the other locale is more relaxed environment).

Question - Do the CCPL & IMSS assist each other ? Answer - IMSS also offers this for ESL clients, but yes they are aware of each other and often there are crossovers between organizations.

Reminder - Thursday's at 10 am at the Library are Computer Literacy workshops.

Housing First presentation
Presentation on the Housing First project of the Fraser Basin Council by Anne Burrill

"Housing First - Rethinking our approach to homelessness" (powerpoint presentation text)

Homelessness in Williams Lake: 59 people homeless in Feb of 2014. There was 459 people who accessed homelessness outreach services in the last year.

Homelessness is Expensive: 35 - 135K/person is the estimated annual cost for services for someone who is homeless (e.g. chronic illness costs, acute illness costs, shelter beds cost society money, incarceration costs, institutionalization costs).

But Housing them.... is not so expensive! The total monthly amount of welfare for a single person is $610 and the average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is $637. The total monthly welfare cheque for a single mom with two kids is $1035 and the average rent for two bedroom apartment is $722. This means it would only cost between $1000 - 3500 a year to subsidize the average rent for someone on welfare.

What is Housing First? Advocates for finding people housing first before addressing other needs such as recovery. Project backed by research that shows an economic advantage to this strategy.
Key Components:
·         Housing: consumer choice determines unit type and location (taking into account housing market constraints and the need to be affordable)
·         Support Staff assist with finding housing, negotiate with landlords, manage rent supports, apartment set up/move out.
·         2 Key Points: housing choice and structure; separation of housing and support services.

Principles of Housing First:
·         Client choice and self-determination philosophy
·         Separation of housing and services
·         Housing is not conditional on sobriety or program participation (low barrier, harm reduction)
·         Immediate access to permanent housing, with support necessary to sustain it.
·         Recovery orientation
·         Community integration, social inclusion, self-sufficiency ad improved quality of life and health.
·         Program Components: Emergency Shelters, Transitional housing, Permanent supportive housing, Rapid re-housing, Intensive case management, Prevention, Affordable Housing, Outreach, and Coordinated Access.

Shifting from a program-by-program to a systems approach to ending homelessness. "Close the front door, open the back door, build the infrastructure and get better data".

Systems-focused Plan to End Homelessness:
·         Community plan aligned with system planning using Housing First.
·         More than introducing Housing First programs.
·         Sets out strategy to transform local service continuum using Housing First Approach.

Housing First project:
·         Brings service providers and the broader community together to look at Housing First as a model.
·         Facilitate a dialogue about whether Housing First can work for Williams Lake, and what it might look like.
·         Develop a program model (Agency specific? Community coordination? Coordinated intake and assessment? Data collection and Evaluation/Monitoring outcomes methods?
·         Pilot/Prototype

Questions? Comments: For more information please contact Anne Burrill at annelburrill@gmail.com or 250-267-7211

Additional notes taken are below:
Context - Homelessness in WL (in 2014 approx 59 people) with 459 people see last year by Wayne Lucier who were on the verge of eviction, or facing total homelessness.

It is a huge cost to society (chronic illness, acute illness, shelter beds cost society money, incarceration costs, institutionalization  costs).

Housing is less expensive (from a community perspectives) than keeping them homeless.

Note - food costs are the biggest increase in living costs (local WL could even be higher than national average - Northern costs are on average higher).

It would cost less to provide people with rent assistance, than it would cost to pay for the costs associated with homelessness as mentioned above. It would also be less complicated.

Housing First - Developed in the US by one man who thought it worth a try! (backwards thinking but it worked so well!).

True spirit model - it is a fundamental right to be housed (and a choice for their housing - some level of choice given community restraints). This is where the topping off the rent aspect comes in (e.g. safe & secure is more important than just any place). You do not need to be "clean", it is NOT dependant on other factors like most other models.

Goal is to move towards recovery, but not required per se. Permanent housing is goal - help even if it doesn't work out.
Home visits to keep them on track.

It's a philospohy, and has a program model too.

In Williams Lake we are doing well (e.g. shelters, transitional housing, emergency front line staff), BUT there is not a complete system that works all the time (sometimes you have to fall through the crack to get picked back up).

So, a SYSTEM needs to be created (including prevention factors too).

Locally we are missing some of the pieces. Asking people to transition out of affordable housing, is almost impossible (people cannot afford it).

How can we shift to a more systems based approach (finding till mar 31 2017). Not a project delivery project, more of a collaborative approach to try and implement (e.g. broader coordination vs intake process - one organization vs many... basically to even see if it is feasible!). Bringing everyone to the table - here it is, can we do anything? If yes, let's do it (pilot). Small scale to start this "investigation".

Open discussion:
Comment - Housing & Homelessness Committee on Feb 11th (Client Journey mapping exercise). Going to map the service delivery system from a few clients perspective. Interior health acting as facilitator (and a graphic facilitator will be there). To help identify barriers, gaps, perform analysis, create plan, and then open to a community planning session (with others again). No blaming, inquiry process instead. No representative from City yet (working on it).

Comment - Landlords should get involved. Other communities have done this (especially if there is no local affordable housing).

Comment - Local data collection will be important to show tangible results (e.g. positive monetary gains were proven by a Portland study showing the saving on policing costs alone).

UNBC 's CDI presentation
The University of Northern British Columbia's Marleen Morris, Director for the Community Development Institute introduces the "Growing Our Future: The Williams Lake Economic Development Plan" project in partnership with the Williams Lake Economic Development Corporation to build a more resilient and diverse economy for Williams Lake within a strong central Cariboo region.

To address community needs, the objectives of the project are to:

  • Engage community and economic interests with a broad range of stakeholders (First Nations, business, industry, government, and community organizations);
  • Identify and build on community and regional assets and strengths to diversify the economy;
  • Develop and leverage partnerships to bring new resources to the planning and implementation process; and,
  • Create an adaptive foundation that will enable the community and its partners to monitor and adjust the implementation of the plan through changing issues and opportunities.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Marleen by phone at (250) 960-9806 or by email at marleen.morris@unbc.ca.

The purpose of the project is to develop a community plan (process that will take 6 - 9moths) and to engage the community to diversify the local economy and build resilience into it.

The Genesis for this project was the realization that there will be an impact of the post mountain pine beetle era (the forest sector is slowing down (after 10 years of high allowable cuts).

Opportunities for other sectors exist locally - the Agriculture sector is one example (food costs rising so dramatically). Tourism too! (Northern areas are becoming more popular). e.g. California told their farmers they MUST use 25% less water this year (to deal with the drought). Some recreation trails down there are no longer open during high fire season.

Talking and engaging people in the community - ways and ideas to diversify. Then... actually work on them! Not a glossy report at the end - rather real CHANGE.

Goal of this project  - Process resulting in change, not just a plan.

Maureen - Drumming it in - the Social sector contributes to the health of the economy. Social builds resiliency in a community (in a multiplicity of ways). E.g. the next generation of our economy - it is a learning economy (getting an educated workforce - this means prevention & social services too - think long-term).

The learning workforce needs socially educated people - it's a woven pattern. Helping families (and communities).

In the research so far, our local community is doing so much. "Williams Lake has a very connected social network in part by the Social Planning Council. To even have a Social Planning council in itself is HUGE!. Our future is in the social sector." (Maureen Morris).

Recognition was given to Nancy Gale who helped get the first Autism centre in British Columbia, to be HERE, in Williams Lake.

The social service and not for profits sector is a major economic driver in this community! And, our people are our most important resource (if they are looking for housing, they are not looking for jobs!).

This project launches this week (but they will be back many times). Today is just an introduction (the SPC will be involved again over the duration of this project). The Official Launch is this Wednesday - drop-in, no RSVP required (see website).

Roundtable Updates*
*those not included via community updates (&/or more detailed  information was provided in update).

Jay Goddard - see Gabor Mate poster (sent via updates), also TRU is rotating programming to help with scheduling etc.

Sharon Taylor - update sent out. Additional note - The Federal Govt is moving to payments online (Feb it is ALL online - making it difficult for people especially since certain purchases must be made with a credit card). Propose to CCPL to offer workshops (even for just email accounts, and Service Canada accounts). Sponsorship group underway (could be fast or slow process - possibly even March have a family). Propose SPC and other groups help organize volunteer base conversations (screening etc).

Kathy Vilkas - Hospice Volunteer training new April new intake session - sent via updates.

Leah Selk - updates sent out. Grant application deadline is this Friday at 4pm. Workshop - expand your expressive freedom with instructor from Quesnel  presenting the "Alexander method" on Feb 6th ($45/person). Performances in the park again this year - taking applications.

Joanne Meyrick - 700 unique visitors to the new website already. State of the Child report is underway (data collection at this time).

Shannon Thom - see last update (Canada Job grant is back).

Anne Burrill - CTC profile (Assessment needs survey data interpretation underway - Community Profile soon!)

Margaret Anne (CMHA) - see update - 1) Let's Talk program grant presentation received (flexible program region wide). Connects the mental health component to the physical. Making things more normal in workplaces. 2) Public Racism Awareness campaign to increase awareness and (What Racism looks like in WL - current stories). Next meeting is on Wednesday. Update will be sent.

Carla  - Celebrating National Literacy Week, and Family Literacy Week coinciding with Family Fest next weekend (see update)

Jessica - Lots of affordable local food at the Coop. Also, a feasibility study is underway regarding the utilization of extra heat from the Co-Gen plant for local green houses (by the Economic Development Corp and Community Futures).

Meeting was adjourned - the next monthly SPC meeting is scheduled for Monday Feb 29th at 11:30 am, location TBA.

Contact Us

The Social Planning Council is made up of volunteers from the community. Many of us work in social services agencies or also volunteer for other organizations.

Our Mailing Address is Box 20045, Williams Lake BC V2G 4R1

To reach the Society Coordinator Jessica Dunn please email spc-coordinator@xplornet.com or call 250-243-2126

To reach the Communities that Care Project Manager Carla Bullinger please email carla@caribooliteracy.com or call 250-267-8249

To reach the THRIVE Williams Lake Project Manager Anne Burrill please email anne@changemakerconsulting.ca or call 250-267-7211

To reach the current SPC Chair Larry Stranberg please email happytrails@cfdccariboo.com or call 250-392-3626