Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness and Community Health Network are hosting drop-in open houses to educate the public about housing and homelessness.

Open houses to consider homelessness, housing in Comox Valley

Coalition to End Homelessness and Community Health Network join forces

How does health influence housing? How does housing influence health?

At the last Comox Valley Community Health Network forum, housing was identified as a top priority. Since the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness already exists in the community to plan, co-ordinate, recommend and implement community responses to homelessness, the two organizations have decided to collaborate and join forces to host drop-in open houses for people to learn more.

The open houses are Oct. 17 from 5-7 p.m. at Cumberland council chambers, Oct. 18 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Lewis Centre lobby, and Oct. 25 from 9-11 a.m. in the Comox Recreation Centre lobby.

Formed in 2018, the network brings together a variety of people to take action on issues that impact well-being and health in the Comox Valley. It is a forum for the community to identify, prioritize and take collaborative action to make improvements on determinants of health. It focuses on areas for change that require the involvement of multiple people, groups and organizations to develop and implement solutions.

Stop by any of the open houses to speak to members of the network, and to learn more about who they are and what they will do to address community priorities. The network will soon be recruiting members for a Coordinating Circle and then Action teams. Those interested can sign up at the open houses for more information.

“From experience, the coalition knows that many positive changes happen through collaboration and community partnerships, so we are excited to be able to work closely with the Health Network in the future,” coalition co-ordinator Andrea Cupelli said. “Please stop by an open house to learn about what the network is up to and how you can help, and then stay to share your thoughts and ideas about affordable housing needs. It is all inter-connected.”

Attendees can have their say about one of the community’s top priorities: housing.

The coalition has partnered with the Whistler Centre for Sustainability and BC Housing to provide an opportunity for residents to learn about different affordable housing types, and to express thoughts concerns, suggestions, and ask questions about affordable housing.

“Housing came out as one of the top priorities of the Health Network at our most recent forum,” said Lindsay McGinn, facilitator for the Community Health Network. “Housing is a social determinant of health, and when people from all ages and stages of life are adequately housed, they are more able to fully engage in the community and feel a sense of belonging and well-being.”

FMI: contact McGinn at cvcommunityhealthnetwork@gmail.com or facebook.com/cvchealthnetwork; Cupelli at comoxvalleyhousing@gmail.com or cvhousing.ca

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