About The Hope Dialogue Series
These events, each focused on a particular topic related to our neighbours in the inner city, are held to increase our knowledge and awareness, to foster dialogue and ultimately to deepen our understanding of the issues and challenges faced by our neighbours and community partners while imagining new and innovative solutions to improve lives.
The second Hope Dialogue was about Children and Youth in the Inner City.
Led by community leaders at our non profit partners, about 100 donors and guests joined in conversation about:
how we got here, what are the root causes of systemic, inter-generational marginalization and barriers to opportunity for children and youth in the inner city of Vancouver
what is working and not working to improve the lives of children and youth
how we can work together in new ways to make changes and move towards solutions that address inequalities, social injustices and remove barriers for children and youth
Our study guide
We prepared a study guide to help our participants be ready for the discussion.
It includes information about our community partners, as well some history on how we got to the current situation for children and youth in the inner city.
Please view a PDF of the study guide to see how we set the stage for the dialogue.
What we heard at the dialogue session
Participants had lively discussions with our community leaders, covering many ideas, opinions, and perspectives. Focused around the three questions we posed, some key themes emerged from the dialogues.
What is working?
When non profit organizations and agencies work in collaboration to create linkages between programs and organizations, more comprehensive and integrated supports are provided for children and youth.
Programs that incorporate cultural components, such as connections with elders, drum making, Indigenous languages, arts and traditional healing, are creating a doorway into wellness and community building.
Services that succeed are keeping families together, connecting youth with family members and meaningful people in their lives.
What isn’t working?
Funding is generally restricted to programs and services that treat the problems instead of preventing them. More flexibility in funding is needed.
People of colour, immigrants, Indigenous peoples and female-led single parent homes are overrepresented among children, youth and families living below the poverty line.
There aren’t enough staff to work with transition plans for youth aging out of the foster care system. The same is true for youth with mental health issues, trauma, grief, loss, and issues of self-harm and substance use.
What solutions can we work towards together?
Advocate for revised funding formulas that allow organizations to build longer term relationships with families and other adults to support not just the child but the whole family.
Engage graduates of the youth programs to mentor and support children. Can this be formalized through an education program/internship/practicum?
Create more shared spaces where a hub or community organizations offer programs and share resources and information.
Central City Foundation will continue to bring together concerned members of our community with those working on the front lines of this issue.
We will continue to amplify the voices of our community partners and highlight the needs of children and youth through events like this dialogue session.
With the help of our donors, Central City Foundation supports many community partners to provide life-changing supports to children and youth living in our inner city. Our grants have helped organizations like the Streetfront Alternative Program, Aboriginal Mother’s Centre Society, Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood house and Urban Native Youth Association.
Central City Foundation has more than 100 years of experience providing safe, secure and affordable spaces for community organizations. We believe this is the key to creating innovative and effective community programs. We own five social purpose real estate buildings and provide housing and space to support services like Aunt Leah’s Place and the Phil Bouvier Family Centre at highly subsidized rents.