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Chilliwack forums focus on addictions, crime and housing

Community attention will zero in on crime, housing, addictions and health care in Chilliwack in a series of public forums set for February and March.

The sessions are designed to bring together those with a strong interest and a passion for these challenging community issues, said Coun. Ken Popove, chair of Chilliwack Healthier Community.

“It’s a collaboration of partners from across Chilliwack,” he said, adding that CHC is chaired by City of Chilliwack and School District 33 reps.

“The idea is that we can get more done together than on our own,” said Popove.

More than 27 community groups, government agencies, First Nations, individuals and RCMP are set to participate in the upcoming forums, and interest is very strong so far, Popove said.

“We want to shake out two or three sup-topics from each general forum topic that we cover.”

Chilliwack Healthier Community  (formerly Chilliwack Healthier Community Stewardship Council) is inviting forum participants to hear updates about implementation of the 2011Healthier Community Strategic Action Plan and help them identify emerging needs, re-assess goals, and identify ways to collaborate.

Topics will range from crime and public safety, homelessness and affordable housing, mental health and substance use to primary health care.

Community organizations, government agencies, and individuals with expertise or an interest these topics are encouraged to participate in one or more of the following CHC events:

• Crime and Public Safety, Feb. 5, 8 a.m. – noon, Evergreen Hall

• Mental Health and Substance Use, Feb. 12, 8 a.m. –  noon, Evergreen Hall

• Homelessness and Affordable Housing, Feb. 19, 8 a.m. –  noon Evergreen Hall.

• Partners in Health Care, Feb. 26, 5 p.m. – 9pm, Squiala Community Hall

• Time for Action, March 12, 8am – noon, Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Like before, these CHC forums call for community-wide collaboration and coordinated action as strategies to tackle these issues. Community ownership and accountability for the plan will be critical to its success, so widespread participation is being sought.

To register or get details email healthiercommunity@chilliwack.com or Darcie Prokop at 604-793-2906.

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