Also in the news, Parliamentary Secretary Mable Elmore delivered a 2 minute statement in the House about Neighbourhood Houses.
[Draft version below]
Last week was proclaimed Neighbourhood House Week, and many of us celebrated with our local neighbourhood houses in our communities.
I joined the Premier at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House in a round-table discussion with 15 neighbourhood houses across Metro Vancouver, from the North Shore to Kitsilano to Marpole to East Vancouver to Burnaby and Surrey. The common message we heard was about the need for people to feel like they belong in their community. As quoted by the executive director of the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, Joel Bronstein, he characterized neighbourhood houses as being “the living room of the community.” That’s what neighbourhood houses do. As multigenerational and multi-ethnic places, they create spaces that bring people together — people who don’t normally have the opportunity to meet in their daily lives. There are newcomers at an English conversation circle, who laugh with people who have lived in the neighbourhoods their whole lives. There are millennials competing against Generation X’ers at local games night. Chef volunteers meet garden volunteers, creating a farm-to-table dinner. Lively seniors meet shy kids in choir practice. Community members eat meals with neighbours who are experiencing homelessness. Exhausted parents seek supportive conversation when picking their kids up from child care at the end of the day. Kids from different schools and different grades paint murals together in after-school care. These unlikely friendship, these bridges between people, these genuine connections, are what build healthy and resilient communities. Thank you, neighbourhood houses, for encouraging and empowering people to build and strengthen all our communities.