Ken Popove

Ken Popove

Events tackle addictions and homelessness in Chilliwack with panel discussions

Judy Graves will be coming to Chilliwack Nov. 24 to be part of a panel discussion hosted by Chilliwack Healthier Community and UFV

It’s a chance to see homelessness through the eyes of someone who spent decades doing compassionate work on the streets of Vancouver.

Judy Graves will be coming to Chilliwack on Nov. 24 to participate in a panel discussion hosted by Chilliwack Healthier Community and University of the Fraser Valley.

Graves, the former homeless advocate for City of Vancouver, will be sharing what she’s learned about the social and economic costs of homelessness.

Her talk will be followed by a public discussion with panelists from the RCMP, City of Chilliwack, and Salvation Army.

“Judy comes from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, which is ground zero for these kind of issues,” said Ken Popove, chair of CHC, and city councillor.

Graves, spent more than 30 years working in Vancouver forging caring connections with street people, and served as a tireless housing advocate on behalf of the marginalized.

“She’ll tell her story, and the public will have an opportunity to ask questions of her and the panelists,” said Popove. “It’s just another stream of communication, and a way to raise awareness about what works and what doesn’t.”

The problem of homelessness and housing may not be fixable without all levels of government coming to the table, he underlined.

November 24 The Costs of Homelessness panel event starts 6:30 p.m. at Canada Education Park, UFV. Presentation at 7 p.m.

November 15 –  Understanding Addictions, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre, Alumni Hall  (46361 Yale Road, attached to Chilliwack Senior Secondary). Topics: Provincial Overdose Emergency situation, the home Naloxone Program, Youth Treatment Beds, a First Nations approach to addiction treatment, Understanding a harm reduction approach to IV drug use and the benefits, and a youth forum. It is co-hosted by Chilliwack Healthier Community and the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative – Chilliwack Local Action Team. Speakers to include:

• Andrew Larder, Medical Health Officer, Fraser Health, The Provincial Overdose Emergency, giving an overview of the current situation and the provincial response

• Youth Forum, Chilliwack Local Action Team – Youth Experience of Substance Use: Youth panel speaks from lived experience on their journeys of experimentation, mental health and adult interactions

• Erin Gibson, Regional Harm Reduction Coordinator, Fraser Health, Take Home Naloxone (THN) Program. She’ll offer a description of THN and Toward the Heart, a project of the provincial Harm Reduction Program

• Jutta Wykpis, Manager, Chilliwack Health and Housing Contact Centre, Youth Treatment Beds – new PCRS site in Keremeos

• Darcy Paul, Qwí:qwelstóm Wellness Worker and Molly Willie, Qwí:qwelstóm Wellness Worker, Stó:lō Service Agency. They’ll be talking about the First Nations approach to addiction treatment, with a brief overview the Qwí:qwelstóm Day Treatment Program at Sto:lo Service Agency

• Jennifer Harley, Former Program Manager, InSite Supervised Injection Sites, on understanding harm reduction and its benefits. Expect an explanation of a supervised injection site is and dispelling the urban myths

“Both events are going to be interesting,” said Popove.

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