Name of Town: Sunshine Coast, Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt,
An incubator for connections and education around substance use and harm reduction for a wide variety of stakeholders
A Q&A with David Croal, Megan Burrows, and Ele Molnar of the Sunshine Coast CAT.
“It’s okay to take it slow at the beginning, to really see where everyone is coming from, and to find common ground by setting clear goals,” – Eleonora Molnar, Steering Committee Member
Members of the Community Action Initiative team sat down with Eleonora Molnar, Steering Committee Member, David Croal, Gibsons Council Member, and Megan Burrows, previous CAT coordinator, to discuss the evolution, learnings, and proud moments experienced while working with the Sunshine Coast CAT. Here’s what they had to say.
Another initiative, SPARC BC, provided an extremely generous donation of 40 cellphones. The individuals who received the phones either self-identified or were identified by staff and community providers as needing one. These cell phones were handed out in the community and subsidized housing units. They were not only a great way to stay connected but also a great way to promote the use of the Lifeguard App.
Another initiative was the emergency overdose prevention tent which was established at Raincity Sechelt Shelter. The tent was put up by people with lived and living experience of substance use as a signal that we need a more sustainable site in place as soon as possible. Peer outreach workers quickly brought to our attention that Raincity is not ideal because some individuals who cannot access the shelter or are banned from the shelter, cannot access this lifesaving service. Since then, we have moved the site from the shelter property to a nearby location. Now, those members who aren’t welcome at the shelter are still welcome at the OPS where they can get warm and dry which is so necessary.
- Utilize the diverse skillset of the people who come to the table. You look around the table and you see people who are passionate and have a lot of insight – use it! Getting people to work together, to find common ground, will ultimately form a strong committee dedicated to tearing down barriers.