Sabine Mendez, coordinator of Chilliwack Healthier Community, presented details on the their Strategic Plan, 2014 to 2017, for Chilliwack city council last week. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Progress)

Chilliwack Healthier Community an action-oriented bunch

They take the collaborative approach seriously making Chilliwack the envy of other FV cities

Chilliwack has a reputation for collaborative process.

A shining example is Chilliwack Healthier Community (CHC), an action-oriented partnership of 46 health and social service agencies, brainstorming solutions to some of the city’s thorniest problems.

Sabine Mendez, coordinator of CHC, presented details on the Strategic Plan, 2014 to 2017, for city council last week.

She called their partnership “highly engaged” as it took on some of Chilliwack’s hot-button issues like the desperate need for more affordable housing, and action to help those dealing with illicit substance issues from a health and safety perspective.

They hosted community-wide forums to gauge priorities.

The CHC broke into smaller “task teams” to share the work, in areas like public safety, Housing First projects, tenancy issues, mental health and addictions.

“Our overiding goals in that regard is to increase literacy to decrease the stigma around these issues,” said Mendez.

They’re also opening doors to improved relations with local Sto:lo communities, and looking at seniors’ health and social issues.

CHC is working on the next strategic action plan, which should be complete by fall.

“By working together, we’re better able to serve Chilliwack, particularly our most vulnerable,” she commented.

Coun. Ken Popove thanked Mendez for being “the glue” of CHC, which he co-chairs.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz called it “heart-warming” to hear the partnership is up to 46 active members working hard on the social issues.

“People always ask, what are you doing? Well this is a perfect example here today, showcasing what the city, and its partners are up to. Thank you for your leadership.”

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