Sooke’s Multi-Belief Initiative is taking the next step toward having the community recognized by Charter for Compassion International as a “compassionate community”.
An open invitation to a phase two planning session has been issued by the Initiative for the session where it plans to develop long-term strategies to bring a variety of community groups together to tackle issues affecting the region.
The session will be held on Saturday, March 2 at the Sooke Baptist Church between 1 to 4 p.m. and organizers hope to attract a variety of community activists, officials and other interested parties for a series of discussions and working groups.
Five key focal points were identified by the group, including homelessness, affordability (including housing, and childcare), social isolation, health services, and better communication and awareness regarding community issues.
The March 2 session follows on the heels of a similar session in October when about 50 people attended the first workshop on these issues.
At that event, attendees listened to presentations from the RCMP, the Sooke Food Bank, the Sooke Shelter Society, and the Canadian Mental Health Association. They then broke into discussion groups and brainstormed ideas to address some of the challenges with which they’d been informed.
“Much good work by local and regional organizations is already underway in all of these areas,” said Mark Ziegler, one of the organizers of the upcoming event.
“The question now is how can we do more as a community to support and further the efforts to deal with these deep-rooted and persistent issues?”
The Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative is a working group of Transition Sooke. It arose from Mayor Maja Tait’s Sooke Region Health Summit in May 2016 as a multi-belief undertaking comprised of individuals from all walks of life, without regard to specific creeds or religious beliefs.
The move to seek community designation was endorsed by Sooke council last June.
The group invites anyone with questions or those wanting to register for the event to contact Ziegler at firstname.lastname@example.org or Don Brown at email@example.com.