Victoria, BC, August 23, 2022 – Today, the Downtown Service Providers committee brought together dozens of service providers and information booths at the Royal Athletic Park for Project Reconnect.
Project Reconnect, the revitalization of a pre-COVID annual event known as Project Connect, is a one-day service and information fair for those experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty in Greater Victoria. More than 30 organizations participated in this year’s Project Reconnect, offering an estimated 200 attendees access to a variety of services including medical care, peer support, professional portraits, an ID clinic, and more.
Volunteers from the community and across the sector supported the delivery of the event, including people with lived and living experiences of homelessness.
The event began in a good way acknowledging Indigenous Protocols. Cyril Morris, of the Songhees Nation, opened the event and welcomed people to the territory, and Guy Louis Senior and Junior, of the Ahousaht First Nation shared powerful drumming and songs.
“Project ReConnect is a good time to reevaluate the looking glass we view marginalized people in our society, whether they struggle with drug misuse or homelessness, we need to reevaluate and reconnect,” says Darrin Murphy, person with lived experience and one of the attendees. “I believe it’s instrumental in bringing us together in working towards a common solution”
“It has been a sincere community effort to bring back this event, in a new way, after having to put so many activities on hold over the course of the pandemic. The landscape of service and support provision changed as a result of COVID-19, here, providers can showcase changes, make new connections, and reconnect with folks today”. Janine Theobald, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness Director of Collaborative Engagement. “This couldn’t be done without a dedicated team whose excitement has been contagious, in a good way! “
Attendees also received a BBQ lunch and care packs filled with personal hygiene products, non-perishable snacks, vitamins, and other essential items – donated by the Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue, and new shoes from Frontrunners Footwear.
This year’s Project ReConnect is generously sponsored by the United Way of Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) and the UWSI Labour Council.
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The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness (GVCEH) is a partnership of local service providers, non-profit organizations, all levels of government, and business, post-secondary, and faith communities. The GVCEH’s mission is to ensure experiences of homelessness in the Capital Region by 2030 are rare, brief, and non-recurring and that housing and supports are culturally adaptive, creative, caring, and person-centered.
For more information:
Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness