Though we are not out of the pandemic yet, the world continues to slowly open up and many of the Richmond PRC member organizations and are offering their services again, whether, in-person, virtually or via a hybrid model. Check back weekly for regular news and updates from service providers and the various levels of government. If you or someone you know would like to join the RPRC please visit our website for more information.
Week of September 13
Greetings to members and friends of the Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition (RPRC):
This is our 6th Roundup, with info from our RPRC organization members, local government, and the BC government. If you have some news, just send it to email@example.com and we will endeavour to spread the word amongst our members and associates.
-> Richmond Centre for Disability (thanks to Lousie Gaudry):
RCD wants to let you know about our ‘In Motion and Momentum+’ course. We have postponed the start of the next running because we are seeking more participants. Please see the poster attached for more details. Please note the start date is now Septemeber 21st.
‘In Motion and Momentum+’ is a pre-employment class that gives participants lots of opportunity to consider their skills and interests and values to put them on a path to their preferred future. The ideal candidate can be self-reflective. We will be offering the first 2 of three modules through Zoom and the plan to have at least part of the class meet at our Centre in Richmond for the final module. Those from outside the Lower Mainland can of course continue to attend through Zoom. This is a 6 hr. per day commitment between September and December 2021.
-> RPRC, RCD, Kehila and JSA: Federal Election 2021 Richmond Federal Candidates Online All Candidates Meeting:
You will recall the RPRC, and co-hosts sent this special email message below about our online All Candidates Meeting. We collaborated on fourteen (14) questions around the issues of social justice on the federal stage and sent our questions directly to the candidates for the two federal risings in Richmond: Richmond Centre and Steveston Richmond East.
The ten (10) Federal candidates are: Parm Bains, Kenny Chiu (incumbent), Laura Gillanders, James Hinton, Wilson Miao, Sandra Nixon, Francoise Raunet, Jennifer Singh, Jack Trovato, and Alice Wong (incumbent). Please note, we received responses from only six candidates. Missing were: James Hinton Jennifer Singh, Francois Raunet, and Parm Bains. Our team added every response to the RCD website and here is the link for you to access all the candidates’ responses.
To date there have been 812 views of the Q&A page. All responses will be accessible through the links until September 20, 2021. Please forward the link to friends, family, and colleagues! We hope our members and associates will read each candidate’s views on this important subject to make an informed decision on voting day.
-> Richmond Homeless Connect (RHC) and Food Aid Delivery (FAD):
With thanks to Kwaku Yeboah and the Global Access & Inclusion Foundation, the RHC and FAD have received 1,000 packets of sanitizing wipes for their hygiene/ cleaning kits. These kits go out to Richmond’s street entrenched homeless and residents at risk of homelessness. Thanks, GAIF!
-> RPRC project in Richmond Culture Days ‘Art for Social Change’ Oct 23rd (thanks to RPRC staff Jessica and Theresa):
This is to advise the RPRC’s Culture Days entry with the Richmond Advocacy & Support Committee’s “Art for Social Change” has been cancelled. They have decided to pivot to a different format and may still hold an event on Oct 23. So, save the date and the RPRC will keep you up to speed! For more information on the RASC’s activities see www.facebook.com/rascproject.
->City of Richmond Online Survey:
The City is conducting an online survey on Reducing Waste and Supporting a Circular Economy. They want residents to give them creative ideas on how to reduce waste and keep materials we use in circulation to be used, reused, repaired, or recycled multiple times. Share your ideas and comments in the City’s Rethink Waster Think Tank at LetsTalkRichmond.ca and be entered to win prizes. Deadline is Oct 3, 2021. Ideas generated in the Think Tank will help create a Rethink Waste Ideas Hub as a resource to our community.
Here is an innovative example that has been in use in Richmond for many years. A past RPRC project, which is now administered by RPRC member the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre (RWRC), is called Richmond Shares. It is a website-based place where people who have stuff (furniture, appliances, baby gear, etc) can post it and anyone who needs it can contact the program facilitator who will arrange for pick up and delivery. The beauty of this program is it eliminates the ‘warehouse’ problem many thrift stores have. And it’s free!
-> BC Government: Vaccine Cards
As of Sept 26th, anyone who wants to access non-essential services such as gyms, restaurants and inside events, must show a vaccine card. They are available online at www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard or by calling 1-833-838-2323 to request a mailed copy. You do not need the card to access essential services such as emergency health services, the food bank, grocery stores, or to buy a meal at a take-out restaurant.
Week of September 7
Happy Labour Day! On this day we celebrate and honour the workers of Canada who have contributed and sacrificed so much in the face of the global pandemic. Thanks to our front-line workers especially, but also, everyone who kept working, whether at home or in the workplace, to set Canada on the road to recovery.
This is our 5th Roundup, with info from our RPRC organization members, local government, and the BC government. If you have some news, just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavour to spread the word amongst our members and associates.
->Federal Election – Questions from RPRC, Richmond Centre forDisability, Kehila Society, and Jewish Seniors Alliance:
We are happy to report these four non-profit agencies have collaborated on 14 questions concerning social justice issues and sent them to all ten Federal Election candidates in Richmond. The questions cover these poverty reduction topics: housing and homelessness, food security, Indigenous rights, childcare, long term care, home support, MAid legislation, pharmacare, and pensions. Prior to the advance polls starting Sept 10th, we will post all responses on our websites, so that everyone has time to review candidates’ responses on these important issues. Stay tuned!
-> Elections Canada FAQ link:
There is a lot of incorrect information floating around out there, about voting during COVID. Here is an easy Q&A guide to help us all navigate the election.
-> Richmond Family Place (thanks to Ruth Tavener):
RFP is having its Annual General Meeting on Sept 15th at 6.00 pm via Zoom. Anyone can attend, just go to the website and register by Sept 8th. The Zoom link will be sent to registered participants. FYI, Family Place will be closed on Thursday, September 30th to honour National Truth and Reconciliation day.
-> RPRC project in Richmond Culture Days ‘Art for Social Change’ Oct 23rd (thanks to RPRC staff Jessica and Theresa):
The RPRC’s current project group the ‘Richmond Advocacy & Support Committee (RASC)’ is part of Richmond’s 2021 Culture Days! Join them for an art exhibition and variety show on Oct 23rd from 1-3 pm in the Fisher Auditorium (Richmond Hospital) promoting laughter and learning through art, song, drama, poetry, and spoken word as group members share their insights and stories on the topic of mental health. They are looking forward to a return to the in-person format and COVID protocols will be adhered to. For more information on the RASC’s activities see www.facebook.com/rascproject.
-> Social Purpose Real Estate (SPRE) via City of Richmond:
SPRE has released a major study: ‘Space for Community: Understanding the Real Estate Challenges Affecting the Social Purpose Sector in BC.’ Highlights: 60% of social service agencies cannot find space they can afford. Rent increases for office space has increased up to 35% in the past 8 years in Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby. Many local service agencies in Richmond participated in the SPRE webinars that helped to inform the study. To read about these challenges and more, click here. For other supporting documents go to the Space for Community webpage.
-> BC Government ‘Get on Board’ free transit for 0-12 years:
Starting Sept 1st, children aged 12 and under ride for free on all buses, Skytrain, Seabus, and Westcoast Express. Free transit saves families money, gives people options to get around, attracts new riders, and promotes green transportation. The government estimates about 370,00 children will be eligible to ride for free, and families that purchase monthly passes will save from $420 to $687 per child. The RPRC is proud of the small part we played in convincing Richmond City Council and Richmond School Trustees to advocate to the BC government for free transit.
->BC Government ‘Back to School’ announcement:
Students of all ages head back to school on Tuesday, September 7. To help support students and staff, the BC government has invested in pandemic-related mental health programs and supports in schools. Masks are required in shared spaces in schools and for all students from grade 4-12. Masks for younger students are recommended, but not required. At colleges and universities, students must wear masks in indoor public areas. On-campus indoor venues like gyms, restaurants, sporting events, and concerts, will require proof of vaccination, and students living on campus need to show they’ve been vaccinated. All students aged 12 and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and are encouraged to visit a walk-in clinic for a shot.
-> City of Richmond online survey:
The City of Richmond is seeking your input on your experience and involvement at our two outdoor swimming pools: Steveston and South Arm.
Please visit www.LetsTalkRichmond.ca to complete a short survey by Sunday, September 26. The input received will help prioritize pool space and times, as well as improve future programming.
Week of August 31
This week’s news:
-> Richmond Public Library (thanks to Millicent Mabi, permanent observer with the RPRC):
Richmond Public Library now has a page on its website for Indigenous Resources. This page provides the public with resources that focus on Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Metis) interests, perspectives, and concerns. Having a central location for our resources will provide staff and the public a space to honour, appreciate and recognize Indigenous Peoples.
The page is located here and is found below Newcomers on the drop-down menu for “Borrow, Use, Learn”
-> Richmond Virtual All Candidates Meeting Q&A (thanks to RCD and Kehila Society):
The RPRC, along with RPRC members Richmond Centre for Disability and Kehila Society/ Jewish Seniors Alliance, are co-hosting a virtual Q&A with all the federal candidates for Richmond. We are collecting and collating questions on social justice issues and will be posing them to all candidates by week’s end. When candidates respond, RCD techie wizards will add them to a template and send them to be posted on all our websites. So, stay tuned! And please forward the link far and wide so we are all informed on individual candidates’ views and party policy!
-> Richmond Sentinel (local free paper):
Exciting News! Richmond is set to receive funding from the provincial and federal governments to further its homelessness action plan. The City of Richmond is one of 48 communities throughout B.C. that is receiving funding to help take action against homelessness. In total, the city will get $3,348,947 towards its homelessness action plan in response to COVID-19. The funding comes through the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program, which is equally funded by the provincial and federal governments. We have no info from the City yet, but we will keep on it!
-> BC government Ministry of Health: Cleaning and dietary workers coming back in-house at BC acute care hospitals:
This could be good news for the mostly women workers in these jobs, and hopefully a way out of the COVID ‘she-session.’ Now perhaps they will review conditions in Long-Term Care homes!
-> Elections Canada: The Federal Election is Sept 21st:
There are many ways to vote. Election Day is September 20, 2021, and you can go with your voting card and vote at your polling station that day. But you can also vote early (Sept 10, 11, 12, 13), or register and vote by mail, or go to any Elections Canada office before Sept 14th to vote. Check out all the ways to vote. Broadcast this…we all have the right to vote!
Week of August 24
Greetings PRC friends and members: Here is our 3rd roundup, with info from our organization members and the BC government concerning proof of vaccination cards. If you have some news, just send it to email@example.com and we will endeavour to spread the word amongst our members and associates. Thanks!
-> From the Richmond Centre for Disability RCD (Thanks to Ella Huang): Check out all their activities, programs, info on Canadian Paralympians, and more here!
-> From RPRC Housing & Homelessness Standing Committee (Thanks to Susan, Alex, Donna, Judith, Meena):
The City of Coquitlam has beefed up their tenant relocation policy again, see link for details. The city policy dictates that developers provide renters three to ten months’ rent plus moving expenses, depending on the length of time they have tenanted a unit. The City of Richmond has a similar policy, but not as much protection for renters as Coquitlam. However, a gap remains in both policies. They only cover multi-family units, not private homes rented out where tenants can be renovicted. Some houses can comfortably and affordably house two families. But when the house is demolished, tenants have no recourse except under the Residential Tenancy Act. The RPRC brought this gap to the attention of the City some time ago, with no response or action. Perhaps one answer is to build more non-market housing?
-> From BC government re: Proof of Vaccination requirement: Individuals 12 and older will be required to provide proof of vaccination to access certain social and recreational settings, such as: indoor ticketed events, restaurants, fitness centres/ gyms, organized indoor events (weddings, etc), indoor group recreational classes and activities.
As of September 13, one dose of vaccine will be required for individuals 12 and older, to enter these settings. By October 24, entry to these settings will require individuals 12 and older, to be fully vaccinated, at least 7 days after receiving both doses. These requirements will not apply to retail, grocery stores, health services, or worship services – all non-discretionary services.
A secure web link will be provided and publicized widely before September 13, where people will be able to confidentially access their proof of vaccination. Individuals will be able to save a copy of their proof of vaccination to their phone to show when entering or using designated businesses and events. Individuals who cannot access their proof of vaccination online will be able to contact a provincial call-in centre to access an alternative to online proof of vaccination. To learn more about proof of vaccination requirements, you can find information here. Please continue to encourage your community members to get vaccinated at a drop-in clinic or by appointment.
Please feel free to email us at VCO.Stakeholders@gov.bc.ca if you have any questions.
Week of August 15
Greetings RPRC friends and members: Here is our Aug 15th roundup, info on government programs and opportunities for input:
-> Free Transit:
Families in BC depend on affordable transportation to get around. The government has announced free transit for kids under 12 starting Sept 1st. This means:
- Effective September 1, Kids 12 and Under will be able to ride free on public transit all over BC
- On TransLink: Buses: No transit pass, ID, or accompanying traveller needed. Gated services: Fare-paying customer taps in up to 4 kids.
- On HandyDART: Free travel as registered customer with adult (or with registered adult)
- On BC Transit: Kids 6-12: No transit pass, ID, or accompanying traveler needed. Kids 5 and under: Ride free with someone 12+
Learn more: gov.bc.ca/kids-getonboard
-> Walk-In Clinics for Covid 19 shot:
The #VaxForBC campaign aims to make it easy for all BC residents to get their vaccine shots.
- Walk-in clinics or mobile vax vans will be set up across communities in BC.
- No need to book an appointment or phone ahead – just show up!
See link to find out where you can get your vaccine shot at: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/vaxforbc
-> Paid Sick Leave:
BC residents are invited to provide input into the development of a permanent paid sick leave program for BC. From August 5th until September 14th, 2021, you can let the government know what the program should look like. It will come into effect on January 1, 2022.
Opportunity to have your say: engage.gov.bc.ca/paidsickleave
-> Changes to Rental Tenancy Laws:
Nearly 50 percent of British Columbians rent their homes. Renters depend on fair rental practices so that they can have safe and secure housing. The BC government is:
- Freezing rent until the end of 2021
- Closing the fixed-term lease loophole
- Making it easier for tenants to get compensation when a landlord lies about ending a tenancy
- Establishing protections against illegal renovictions and demovictions
See more at this link.
Week of August 10
-> Family Services of Greater Vancouver (thanks to Pat Steiner):
It’s still summer but we are starting to think about the fall. We’d love your help to share this poster with your staff, participants, and volunteers as well as with anyone you think might be interested in this FREE on-line cooking group with language support. To register call Minoo Javadi 778.885.5165 or email Joanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practice your English and learn to cook low cost, healthy, and nutritious food. Learn about your community resources. Participants must register.
-> Richmond Family Place Thrift Store (thanks to Ruth Taverner):
Did you know that Richmond Family Place has a Thrift Store? This social enterprise generates income that goes directly back into our programming. Staffed almost entirely by a dedicated group of volunteers, we are open 6 days a week from 10:30 AM- 3:30 PM. We are proud that through our store we provide low-cost clothing and household items to Richmond residents, while also doing our part to keep items out of the landfill. We stock a wide assortment of clothing, household items, fashion accessories, games, and toys for all ages. If, like us, you love to go thrifting for that one-of-a-kind bargain treasure, we invite you to drop by and do some shopping. We accept gently used items during our open hours (no large furniture please). P.S. if you’re looking for the perfect volunteer experience, call us at 604.278.4336 or head over to our website http://www.richmondfamilyplace.ca/ and fill out a volunteer application form.
Richmond Mental Health Consumers & Friends Society/ RCFC (Thanks to Cory Tymich):
All RCFC programs are planned, organized, and implemented by peers for peers. Based on the principles of peer support, we provide the following programs: Note: All programs require a referral from a medical professional.
- Peer Support Program: provides one-on-one support to people recovering from a mental illness. Goals are set and attained in 6 months. For more information, email Jennifer at email@example.com or call her at 604-675-3977 ext. 3.
- Therapeutic Recreation Program: promotes wellness by providing therapeutic learning and social opportunities in a supportive recreational setting. For more information, email Lizette at firstname.lastname@example.org call her at 604-675-3977 ext. 4.
- Peer support social group program: offered in Cantonese and Mandarin provides positive opportunities to learn new things, acquire skills, socialize, and build relationships. For more information, email Icy at email@example.com or call her at 604-675-3977 ext. 5.
-> Richmond Homeless Connect/ RHC and Richmond Food Aid Delivery Coalition/FAD (thanks to numerous volunteers on this e-list):
The RHC and FAD teams are pleased to have been recipients of federal Reaching Home COVID Emergency Response funding for the past 16 months. The funding has ended but they are proud of how they were able to help Richmond residents during this challenging time. With the funds, they operated three programs for homeless and at-risk Richmond residents. This included distributing hygiene/ cleaning kits to over 1,200 individuals, providing relief fund grants for emergency needs to 27 individuals, and providing hot meals to 35 street-entrenched homeless five nights a week (about 12,000 meals). Thanks to all these dedicated Richmond volunteers!
-> YWCA Richmond housing for women and children (thanks to Bobbi Sarai):
There is a new YWCA housing project due to open in November 2021, providing 27 affordable units in the heart of Richmond at 6340 #3 Road, Richmond. Studio and one, two and three-bedroom units. Serving single mothers and their children, also housing for single women without dependents. Prioritizing those fleeing violence from an intimate partner and those wishing to stay in Richmond. Minimum income thresholds apply. See links for more information:
-> City of Richmond Website revitalization: Editorial comment: For anyone who has tried to navigate the City of Richmond’s website, this is welcome news!
The City is preparing to revitalize our current website and we’re seeking public feedback on how it is used, and which areas may need improvement. Please visit LetsTalkRichmond.ca by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 22 to complete a short online survey and add your thoughts to a virtual ideas board. With so many possibilities, we’d like to learn which web features and services offer the greatest benefit to Richmond’s website users. The input received will help prioritize which features and improvements to consider in future website projects.
-> City of Richmond: Seniors Service Plan 2015-2020 (thanks to City staff Lesley Sherlock):
Please find attached a copy of the 2015–2020 Seniors Service Plan: Active and Healthy Living – 2020 Update. The City is currently in the process of developing a new 10-year Seniors Strategy to replace the two major plans for seniors that are nearing the end of their life cycles: The 2015 – 2020 Seniors Service Plan and the 2015 – 2020 Age-Friendly Assessment and Action Plan. Staff are currently gathering input from community stakeholders that will inform the development of this new Seniors Strategy for Richmond. For more information or to request a hard copy, please contact Debbie Hertha, Program Lead, Seniors at 604-276-4175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-> BC Government Seniors Guide (Thanks to Deb Turner):
The BC Seniors’ guide has recently been updated, which is a comprehensive resource providing important information on health, housing, finances community supports and more to help seniors continue to live well.
Printed copies are available in seven different languages and can be ordered by calling (toll-free): 1 877 952-3181.