Brainstorming session targets Sooke’s social ills

Brainstorming session targets Sooke’s social ills

Community coming together to address issues, say organizers

The Sooke Region faces many social issues – poverty, homelessness, social isolation, discrimination, hunger, drug abuse, domestic violence and the lack of affordable rental housing.

And now many in the community are joining together to address the issues, and seek solutions in a positive, proactive fashion at a public brainstorming meeting at Sooke Baptist Church on Oct. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The afternoon meeting is hosted by the Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative.

The afternoon begins with presentations from representatives of the Sooke Shelter Society, the Sooke Food Bank, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the RCMP.

Participants will then join breakout groups to discuss and identify key issues. Once this is complete, the group will seek consensus on which issues should be included in a realistic and achievable Sooke Compassionate Action Plan.

The document will be shared with the District of Sooke, senior levels of government and throughout the community.

The compassionate action plan is another element among others that could secure recognition for Sooke by Charter for Compassion International.

The idea of a Charter for Compassion was started by philosopher and historian Karen Armstrong in 2009. Since then, it’s estimated more than two million people have signed it.

In June, the District of Sooke joined Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Powell River and 400 other cities and towns around the world officially recognized as “Compassionate Communities.”

“Much is already being done by individuals and organizations locally to assist troubled youth, adults, families and seniors in the Sooke region,” said Mark Ziegler of the Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative.

“Let’s celebrate that work while also figuring out what more we can do. The key objective for me is that we walk away with timelines and resource requirements for real-world action by organizations, government and all in Sooke who want to make a difference.”

Please contact Ziegler by email at markziegler@shaw.ca or Don Brown at donhbrown@shaw.ca for more information.