Open Your Heart – New Evolution of Wise Storytelling, project led by RainCity Housing and Support Society
The New Evolution of Wise Storytelling project, led by RainCity Housing and Support Society, created opportunities for marginalized communities in Vancouver to tell first person stories through local media outlets, supporting more accurate, cohesive reporting on complex issues of poverty, mental health, and/or substance use, and helping reinforce a sense of self-worth for those coming forward.Impacting 200 individuals, the legacy of this project includes improved public awareness of mental health, reduced social exclusion and discrimination, and increased media literacy and socially-inclusive reporting in the media. The project lives on through the Open Your Heart app, an interactive application developed by project partner, Work at Play, and RainCity Housing, to illustrate the importance of support and acceptance.
The Not at the Kiddie Table Any More project, led by Fireweed Collective Society, included a food-based harm reduction strategy, through nutrition-based programming, to help vulnerable youth ages 16-25 develop lifelong skills that support healthy transitions. The program also focused on youth leadership and empowerment, to engage and facilitate youth involvement in policy development and community visioning of Fort St. James.Impacting 80 youth, this project improved school attendance and performance and reduced drug and alcohol use. This project further improved health, education and social service access for all youth by reducing service gaps in the community.
The “Reaching the Risky” project, led by Ktunaxa Nation Council in Cranbrook, this program was an urban service collaborative that provided linkages to culturally-competent, wraparound support for marginalized, homeless populations. Outreach staff, or ‘Street Angels’, come from similar backgrounds of the clients they serve; they reach out to vulnerable clients and help them receive supports necessary to get back on their feet.Impacting 150 individuals, this project improved client access to prevention/treatment services and housing, which prevents further exacerbation of mental illness, substance abuse and unstable housing/homelessness. Furthermore, there was a noted decrease in police crisis calls as a result of the supports enabled through the project.