REACH Edmonton: Connecting Resources. Connecting Communities.

Resource Connect 2019
On Friday, February 8, social service organizations met at Edmonton Intercultural Centre for Resource Connect 2019: “Designing Stronger Service Pathways Together.” Building on 2017’s McCauley Community Gathering and Resource Fair, it was a day of connecting with – and learning about – agencies and groups who work with and provide services to McCauley community members.

The event provided an opportunity for individuals with an interest in community-building, advocacy, social work, and volunteerism to interact with an unprecedented number of service providers from throughout Edmonton. Seventy organizations promoted their programs and services at exhibitor tables, and 20 of these groups provided a greater understanding of their work through scheduled 15 minute presentations. The event attracted more than 300 individuals. The atmosphere was vibrant and buzzing with conversation. Attendance was free to both exhibitors and attendees.

To date, the one-day Resource Connect event has been a part of the Safer McCauley initiative, facilitated by REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities. From now on, Resource Connect will stand alone from Safer McCauley and focus year-round on building a stronger community of service providers. Groups will explore possibilities for new partnerships, increased alignment, and mutual support on an ongoing basis. Resource Connect now features a website to promote regular interaction between service providers. For additional information and to view photos from the 2019 event, please visit resourceconnectyeg.ca.

REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities
When asked to explain what REACH Edmonton does, I often begin by pointing out what it doesn’t do. The organization is neither a legislator, an enforcement agency, nor a service provider. But, as a neutral convener, REACH is effective at bringing partners from these sectors and others together to discuss innovative community safety and crime prevention solutions. Its vision is a city in which every Edmontonian contributes to a community where everyone is safe and feels safe. Its mission is to inspire citizen engagement and coordinated action to strengthen and sustain community safety in Edmonton. In McCauley specifically, REACH promotes these goals through the Safer McCauley initiative, its online resources, and the convening of regular Community Safety Meetings.

Safer McCauley: From Ideas to Actions
Many readers have attended a McCauley Community Safety Meeting or engaged with Safer McCauley online. By doing so, you have contributed directly to the vibrancy and safety of our neighbourhood.

Safermccauley.ca includes interactive tools to collect community knowledge and ideas on an ongoing basis. These tools allow community members to contribute at their own convenience. The knowledge and ideas collected are helping to determine how to focus resources and are playing a central role in the development of community-driven safety initiatives.

Community Safety Meeting (Tuesday, March 26)
The next Community Safety Meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre (9538-107 Avenue). It will be an opportunity to prioritize and discuss the activation of community safety initiatives such as Coffee with Cops, a safety signage campaign, positive street-level activities, walkabouts, community-connecting dinners, improved collective responses to garbage and stray needles, increased EPS-youth engagement, and more. Meetings later in 2019 will include conversations focusing on topics such as Problem Properties and Supervised Consumption Services.

Please consider getting involved. Attend a Community Safety Meeting. Visit safermccauley.ca and Safer McCauley on Facebook to share your thoughts and connect with others who share your interest in creating a safer and more vibrant McCauley. And, don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me directly.

A connected community is a safer community.

_Mark is the REACH McCauley Community Convener. He can be contacted at mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca

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Around the Neighbourhood

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Next Issue . . .

Volume 40, Issue 6 will be published September 15. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also accept submissions of poetry and cartoons. Deadline: August 22, 2019. Send submissions to: editor@bmcnews.org. Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.