Looking for help or resources?

Looking for help or resources? Visit BC211 at the following link http://www.bc211.ca

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.

Want to sign-up for Community Update emails? Enter your email address HERE to start receiving the updates we post below directly to your inbox!

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.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

SPC Monthly Meeting Minutes (draft) - Apr 24, 2017

SPC Monthly Meeting Minutes (draft)
Apr 24, 2017 - 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Location: Community Futures Office
In attendance (from sign-in sheet): Linda Berg, Nancy Gale, Larry Stranberg, Bruce Mack, Diane Wright, Ashlee Hyde, Carla Bullinger, Shannon Thom, Jay Goddard, Anne Burrill and Jessica Dunn.

Accept Minutes & Agenda
During lunch we:
·   Reviewed meeting agenda for Apr 24, 2017
Motion to approve agenda as presented - MFSC
·   Reviewed meeting minutes from Mar 27, 2017
Motion to approve minutes as presented - MFSC

New United Way Initiative - BC211
United Way's Ashlee Hyde presented the new BC 211 initiative. BC 211 is a United Way initiative to serve as a one stop shop to connect people with services they need.

The UW appreciates the work of all you service providers.
United Way is leading this initiative (over 100 locations across Canada)
Outcomes: timely access to social services (everything from a free meal, to a mattress to sleep on).
Six online databases currently exist (including www.accesswilliamslake.org) - precursor to 211

What is 211 - similar to 911, 611 etc. Phone and online service providing access to services. One stop shop with highly trained individuals (trained staff answer the phones). Being more user friendly, and at a fraction of the cost.

So much duplication across Canada, this serves to reduce duplication

Currently BC211 serves the Vancouver region, and will be expanding to other regions of BC (currently accessible to 2.7 million British Columbians in BC).

24-7 service

Free & confidential

Online, phone, text and email

In 2017, BC211 will be expanded across the whole province.
United Way is funding this expansion.

Currently generating awareness about this service. In our area, the service will be available online (only). The costs don't match the growing demands (as below):

Call growth of BC211 - 3% increase
Online visits growth - 40% increase

Live web chat with highly trained staff will be available in our region.

Data collection/Trends can also help identify gaps (e.g. temporary food bank and meals program was created after a large number of calls identified this need).

Video of an actual call was then played for the group.

How does this connect to the crisis line (e.g. CMHA provincial crisis lines)? Is there a Seniors focused area of this website?

Q: The federal and provincial government were not interested in funding this? Are the reasons known?
A: The reasons are not known. Perhaps this will change within this election year.

Q: How is this being advertised to children?
A: New initiative still, being developed (magnets etc.)

Q: This is not only about crises?
A: No, this is for any need. If someone was in a crisis, a crisis line number would be provided.

Household Composition
Leading us into the following item's discussion, Nancy Gale presented a local picture of household composition. See handouts provided for more details.

Child Poverty is increasing. Very common now, children are going hungry (program started providing meals to 6 children and now serves 44 children). Significant reduction in problem behaviors are a result.

Demographics of the community is important to begin tackling these identified issues. Our sector is affected by local demographics.

Our local community is aging.
50 - 54 years of age is the largest age group.

Handout - "A picture of households in Cariboo" (summary compiled by BC Council for Families and SPARC BC). Note - Doesn't identify seniors over the age of 65 within the categories.

From the handout: The majority of single parent and couple households have one child (60.5 of single parent families and 41% of couple families).

Medium income for single parent homes is less than $15 K (below poverty line).

Extra documents made available: 2016 BC Child Poverty Report Card (First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition)

Total number of jobs that exist today is lower than the number of jobs that existed before the 2008 recession.

Income and Employment are the top Challenges in the Cariboo.

It is of value to consider these local demographics when developing new programs and initiatives. Poverty is a real issue locally.

Discussion & Comments that followed:

Program development checklist  - could be developed.

The focus is always "the middle class", rather than those living below the poverty line.

Jay - TRU's 5 year school plan has identified that there are so many barriers to people getting the education they need. The local component of our five year plan needs to consider the demographics (interestingly, in our region the typical middle class student is not the target; these students go away for university to other places).

Statistically: In Williams Lake 23% have no high school diploma

Significant gender disparity in wages Williams Lake: Men in Williams Lake make more than the provincial average and women in Williams Lake make significantly less than the provincial average.
25% of children locally live under the poverty line (which is much lower than the Living Wage). This has great implications for future success.

From a business looking for qualified employees perspective - bringing qualified people in versus hiring locally is often easier.

Poverty Reduction plan for Williams Lake is greatly needed (St. Johns New Foundland is one example).

What can we learn from communities that have a Poverty Reduction plan?

It is important to move the conversation past the aggregate figures - the distribution is very critical.
Rural Canadians are often ignored (34 million people live in Canada, but 75% live at the 49th parallel which is where all the attention goes).

Q: Is there access to grant and/or funding to hire someone to look at this issue?
A: The Vancouver Foundation could be an option (social innovation grant program)

We should get the support from the City of Williams Lake (possibly even the CRD, and/or Chamber).

The Chamber would be a good fit (get the business people first).

Politicians won't care, unless the people are talking about it.

Public Awareness could be a good start - raise awareness of the issue so people start talking about it. The great lack of awareness and people's skewed perceptions (e.g. go get a job!) need to be addressed. People need to know what causes poverty (it is not a choice) so as to not keep perpetuating it.

Recently BIA has noticed a rise in vandalism crimes - this could be the "spark" to get people to start talking - as they are interrelated.

We need to move beyond trying to change perceptions (it is hard to challenge people's beliefs). Rather a suggestion is to: create a facilitated conversation and process engaging people to come up with solutions. There is often two responses from general public - 1) they are just lazy people, or 2) I can give more to the food bank.

The City needs to be on board with future initiatives. The Vancouver Foundation funding requires this.

We need funding to move this forward - we need more than a "corner of the desk".

The impacts of the future legalization of marijuana is still unknown.

The United Way could perhaps help with Poverty Reduction initiative.

"Make the month" is a good website to gain perspective.

A small presentation could be a great impetus for people to join the solution driven conversations - hope needs to be created.

Two separate presentations would be most beneficial - one for the warm and fuzzies, and one for the business minded community.

Next steps - what are the benefits for us as individuals, and us as a community, to implement a Poverty Reduction plan (show people the benefits to a poverty reduction plan - how it will benefit them directly).

We need to frame the comprehensive benefits for people including examples from other communities (demonstrable results from these strategies).

Is there funding sources that could begin this process?

MOTION - Speak to the United Way about securing funding to hire a project developer - MFSC

Housing is a real concern in our region (rents are increasing 3 - 5%/year and are currently almost $700/month for one bedroom). We are seen as an affordable place to live only if you can buy, not if you are a renter.

Resources for more info: BC Community Health Profile (www.phsa.ca/communityhealth), CTC Profile, BC Council for Families.

Choosing a Poverty Reduction focus
Continue discussion on bringing an evidence based program to our community to address local needs.

Tabled to next meeting

Social Planning Trade Show
Explore hosting another Trade Show this fall for non-profit agencies.

Tabled to next meeting

Roundtable Updates (info send via updates &/or the SPC Facebook page)
Ashlee Hyde (United Way) - National Volunteer Week this week. More info at the Tourism Discovery Centre this week to celebrate.

Linda Berg (Boys & Girls Club) - Race for Kids event- teams needed. Glass Slippers is looking for Men's attire.

Jay Goddard (TRU) - Family Support Institute is offering two workshops this weekend (see posters).

Anne Burrill - BC Housing has received more funding. Currently hiring for front line staff. Also looking for landlords.

Kate Lines (BIA) - July 1st - Four Directions Event is underway. If you have ideas, or want to contribute contact their office.

Carla Bullinger (Communities that Care) - BC Youth Week - May 1 - 7. Recognize youth. Community Action Planning Meeting - was well received and more info will be uploaded to the school district website.

Nancy Gale (CDC)- received MCFD monies for ADHD programming and family support and specific interventions.

Larry Stranberg (Community Futures)- Succession planning is still a priority at this time

Meeting was then adjourned. The next SPC meeting will be on May 29th.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Community Updates (12) - May 5, 2017

Table of Contents:
1) Hike for Hospice - Sunday May 7 from 12 - 4 pm
2) Boys & Girls Club's 3rd Annual Race for Kids - register today
3) CRD Hosting Multi-Agency Forum in North Cariboo
4) Annual McDonalds Bike Rodeo - free but registration required - Sat May 6
5) Making Connections - Womens Support Group (9 weeks) starting May 9th
6) Children's Festival - Sunday May 28
7) WORDS on Broadway (Ave)  Literary Festival - May 5 & 6
8) Communities that Care - Positive Action Words of the Week(s)
9) Supporting our Families: "Take a break" - CMHA free support group meets monthly
10) One Day Youth Summit on Mental Health - May 24
11) Tales and Trails - hands on learning at SINC
12) Monday May 29 is the next SPC Meeting - 11:30 - 1 pm

Please visit http://cm.pn/2oer for the above updates!

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