Happy Holidays From Headwaters Communities In Action
On behalf of our Leadership Committee, work groups and countless volunteers, we send warm wishes for a safe and happy holiday to all the citizens of all the communities in the Headwaters Region. Let us all enjoy this special time with family, neighbours and visitors from away, and rejoice in living in such a wonderful part of the world.
In This Issue
Brainstorm for 2016
As we look back on 2015 and forward to the year ahead, it's very exciting to know that we have such a great foundation of public opinion, ideas and engaged people to work with. Thanks to all of you who participated in the productive community conversations we've held throughout the year, as well as our Community Well Being Survey.
In particular, at this time, we thank those who helped brainstorm at our HCIA Annual General Meeting. Groups discussed how to solve a key issue in each of four priority areas: Local Food, Trails & Active Living, Economic Well-Being/Poverty Reduction and Community Safety. Here are some of the bubbling ideas around community engagements and increasing a sense of community:
- Have walking trails, interpretive signs, more safety workshops, bike mechanic workshops;
- One community with high male unemployment implemented a men's shed to build a community space around shared ideas like a craft guild, so that men could gather around shared interests;
- Spread the idea of block communities, support block parties or porch parties;
- Dufferin Grove is a park in Toronto where a stone oven to bake bread was installed for the community to use;
- Check stats with regards to relationship between mental illness and feelings of community safety outside - this could be an important part of community well-being.
Housing and Poverty Forum Brings Light to Poverty in Dufferin
Thank you to all who participated in (presented and attended) the Poverty and Housing Forum on Nov 24. By all accounts the event accomplished what it set out to do: to raise awareness of the issue of poverty and its presence in Dufferin County, and to bring key people together who want to work collaboratively on solutions and strategies.
The forum was successful at drawing in a diverse range of community members - service organizations, local business, education and municipal government and individuals to hear about local lived experience with poverty and poverty reduction initiatives in surrounding communities.
Presentations throughout the day provided a variety of lenses to the issues and attendees were inspired by stories of action and success in other communities as well as personal stories of hardship. Key presenters recounted how they arrived in situations of need, thereby putting faces and real examples to poverty. The audience was both tested and informed on not just the struggles, but also the far reaching health impacts and cost to community of not being proactive.
The day was an important step forward in recognizing poverty within Dufferin County, its impacts and taking a reading on the desire and need to move into action for the well being of our community.
Those who responded high on the wheel of involvement will be invited to a meeting early in the new year. Everyone who attended will be receiving a qualitative summary of the event early in the new year as well.
The presentations from the forum:
It will be exciting to watch a Dufferin Poverty Reduction Strategy begin to take shape with the striking of a Poverty Reduction Steering Committee and eventual Task Force.