CARING CITY PLAN

A CARING VANCOUVER

All citizens of Vancouver deserve to be cared for and given an opportunity to thrive, and this includes providing supports for our most vulnerable in their times of need. And the Affordability Crisis and the Opioid Epidemic have combined to create a situation where more of our residents are suffering or at-risk than ever before. We need new ways of thinking to address the situation we are in and supports that are based on the principle that all Vancouverites are welcome here.

A CARING VANCOUVER

All citizens of Vancouver deserve to be cared for and given an opportunity to thrive, and this includes providing supports for our most vulnerable in their times of need. And the Affordability Crisis and the Opioid Epidemic have combined to create a situation where more of our residents are suffering or at-risk than ever before. We need new ways of thinking to address the situation we are in and supports that are based on the principle that all Vancouverites are welcome here.

4 IMMEDIATE ACTIONS That will make a difference.

      • Establish a satellite Mayor’s Office in the Downtown Eastside.  As Mayor of Vancouver, Ken Sim will commit a minimum of one day per month in the downtown Eastside office.  Currently, there is too great a disconnect between the rhetoric at City Hall and the realities faced by this community.
      • De-politicize funding in the Downtown Eastside.   We believe that better coordination – and real leadership from the Mayor’s Office – will enhance the ability of the many difference agencies and associations to deliver their important work in a coordinated manner.  It is time to set aside politics and take an honest look at current programs and services so that gaps can be identified to determine where new or reallocated resources are most needed.
      • Disrupt the flow of fentanyl.  This means adding new resources as part of a strategy directing Vancouver Police to prioritize efforts to combat the illegal influx of synthetic opioids into Vancouver.  In addition, national and regional inter-police coordination and intelligence sharing will be enhanced and formalized.
      • Support for our first responders.  Vancouver’s police, firefighters, and paramedics represent our city’s front-line against the opioid crisis and need to be resourced properly.  This means adding additional officers and new resources for community policing services and first responders working with marginal communities. This will also enable new training opportunities for skills and knowledge of service availability.

THE LONG-TERM IMPACT Getting the policy framework right.

  • The NPA has a proud history of adopting renewing Vancouver’s efforts to reduce homelessness, including:
    • Adopt a housing-first approach. This means removing the institutional barriers so that the key priority in dealing with our most vulnerable population is to get them into safe, clean housing.
    • Ensure that Vancouver’s homeless shelters meet the needs of vulnerable older adults. This means adoption a policy lens that makes transitional housing opportunities available to them.
    • Recognize the unique needs of our urban Indigenous population. This means engaging First Nations community leaders with frequent and open dialogue that fosters improvements to consultation, accommodation, and service delivery.
    • Make children-first the approach to poverty reduction. This means supporting the development of a Poverty Reduction Plan that focused on child poverty.  Social inequality is merciless to children.  All levels of government have a role to play because poverty does not respect politics or jurisdictional challenges.

  • Continue collaborative efforts to address the overdose crisis, including:
    • Supporting all recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer
    • Increase the distribution of Naloxone kits
    • Expand the distribution of fentanyl testing strip kits
    • Support additional funding for public education about the dangers of opioids, and the ongoing risk of fentanyl poisoning among street drug users.