Unity, equality of all of us, acceptance, caring, a lot of diversity, compassion, respect, comfortable, a real community. These are some of the words that 30 people wrote on rocks at the Carnegie Community Action Project’s Planning Day on July 27th.
CCAP organized the day to get low-income residents to help develop a vision and some principles for creating a healthy, affordable, safe, low-income community in the Downtown Eastside. The workshop took place in the Carnegie gym and was facilitated by Kathy Coyne.
At the workshop people divided into 4 groups and made huge collages of what they would like to see in the DTES of the future. Some of the things they put on the collages included: lots of low-income, intergenerational housing that serves the needs of residents, with seniors and children and daycare and programming and green spaces on the roof; a community growing inside the housing; compassion with needles; inner city wilderness programs for children and adults; a central square at Main & Hastings, with no cars, featuring fountains and lots of marches; a swimming pool; trees and benches lining the sidewalks; water fountains; a healing, sweat and wholistic centre; Sunrise, Save on Meats, Quest, Zellers, Tim Hortons – not too expensive for people; Aboriginal art; more crosswalks; more parks; public washrooms; the richness and colour of our lives expressed in our community.
Other things in the collages included a community garden, more home support for elders; children are able to gather outside that means our neighbourhood is safe; growing together– we can live in harmony with what is around us; houses meld in with the greenery and trees; nature all by itself –we need quiet and peaceful where we can escape to; we’re OK with each other if we have a fish on our head or can’t see or have a cane; safety; car free spaces; friendly police; a DTES council, a neighbourhood plan, greened alleys; art centre; kids walking to school; parade of protest; arts and kids connecting; long house; we are needed.
CCAP is now working on a report to include a vision and principles from this day and will be taking it back to the group to for input before writing a final vision report for a safe, healthy, affordable, low-income neighbourhood. ~JS