Posts Tagged ‘community partners’

A Call to Action from Kindred Spirits

May 7, 2014

Today I am pleased to share a post by Doug Rankin of the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre (KDCHC).  He has an important message about a great community event coming up this Thursday!  Tomorrow I will share an interview that he did with Clarence, a Shelter to Housing Worker at the Hostel and former Peer Health Worker with KDCHC who will receive an award at this event.


“We stand here tonight in solidarity with those who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. We all know that without our health we have nothing. Living without a home makes it impossible to maintain health. Every day is a challenge to find food, to stay warm and dry, to search out services, to find shelter, to seek health care, to be safe. Every day, witnessing friends struggling with illness and disease, often dying prematurely. We are a wealthy Region and it is not just that there are those without adequate shelter and living in poverty. No one should have to wait years on a list for affordable housing, sleep in unsafe and unsanitary rooming houses or spend the end of their life dying without a home. We ask you to now observe a moment of silence to show your support and to reflect on the work yet to be done.”

This is what volunteer Kim Wilson said to those attending the 9th Kindred Spirit BBQ last year, calling us to action as a community and highlighting the difficult reality that many live each day. (more…)

Swimming in a sea of potatoes

January 27, 2012

At the beginning of each year we rest briefly, celebrate the past year, take a deep breath and try and catch up with our many volunteers who are sprinting ahead of us, leading the way and talking with our community about something very simple, yet very important.

What is that?



Family sticks together – the rising cost of food and the family farm

June 3, 2011

As Melissa blogged about earlier, the rising cost of food is getting a lot of play in the media and is weekly on the minds of everyone who does any grocery shopping – especially if you’re on a limited or fixed income.

Higher or lower, the cost of food is a struggle for many on both sides of the producer/consumer coin.  The people who grow it, ship it, store it, sell it and buy it all have an interest in how much food costs and what is good for one, may not be good for all.

We have shared our perspective already, with some words from John our executive director, as well as Tony, our Community Services Director.  Today we are going to share a few words from Trevor Herrle, a local farmer and businessman, who’s family has helped our organization tremendously.

You can learn more about the Herrle’s and their country farm market here, as well as read some blog posts by Trevor on the excellent Food Link blog here.  He is also an active tweeter (follow @HerrlesMarket) and provides some really interesting views into what it’s like to be a farmer. (more…)

Steps to community integration

April 18, 2011

Hunger is just one side of a very complicated set of problems. Housing, income, employment, food and more are all part of what is called the social determinants of health.

A recent video highlights some new thinking in the region on helping people get off the streets and into housing.  As  our executive director John Neufeld sums up:

“Homelessness is a complex issue that impacts individuals and our community on many levels.  There are no simple solutions but that doesn’t mean we’re unable to create effective change.  The STEP Home video shows how meaningful change can happen when progressive Regional Government, community agencies, and the broader community collaborate to address an issue.  This video reminds people that there are no simple cookie-cutter methods but we can do the work creatively, make a difference, and save money in the broader system.”

We have seen first hand the level of commitment the workers at the various community agencies show.  The House of Friendship’s own Brandon, who speaks in the video, often brings people in to receive a hamper, working closely with them and ensuring that they get whatever support they need.

York University academic Dennis Raphael highlights the role that housing, food and income play in supporting health.  He will be in town April 27 to give a talk organized by the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre.  I’ve spoken of him previously (here). I encourage you to have a look at his The Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts (a free .pdf download here) which is an excellent introduction to fact that poverty means more than an empty wallet and fewer options: it cuts years off your life and can burden you with many chronic ailments like diabetes.

More details of his talk can be found by clicking here for a .pdf flyer or by calling Gebre at the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre.  His number is (519) 745-4404.

May this video and the upcoming talk spark conversations and awareness, and remind us of our own humanity and call to celebrate and care for each other.