“Social issues have been ignored for too long and that is why we are committing this government, and future governments, to break the cycle of poverty and improve people’s lives.” - Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
It’s no secret that the Township of Langley is home to low-income residents and to residents experiencing homelessness. The evidence is all around us, and as predisposed as many residents are to respond to solutions with “not-in-my-backyard,” it’s beyond time to work out a strategy because poverty is in our backyard. Agencies and non-profits have been active in both the Township and the City for a long while, working hard to help individuals and families in a variety of ways:
- The Langley / Aldergrove Food Bank relies upon community donations and serves 600 client families which, with dependents, totals over 1,000 people per week.
- Weekend Fuelbag was “started by youth for youth” and also relies on community donations in order to provide a weekend’s worth of food for children in need. Currently, the organization helps 80 students at 9 different high schools and middle schools in Langley; 25 students are on the waiting list.
- Langley Youth Hub is a relatively new initiative that provides programs and services by a “projected $250,000 of in-kind donations through partner organizations.” Programs include medical care, substance misuse counselling and prevention care, mental health counselling, family education – as well as many basic needs.
Langley School District Foundation is a registered charity whose fundraising efforts include support for the following:
- The Food for Thought Campaign which helps to feed 3,000 students “who come to school hungry every day” (2017).
- Youth Homeless Initiative which helps to support 170 homeless youth (2017).
- Langley Supportive Housing is trying to move forward with a 49-unit project complete w/ accompanying services at 6465-201 Street but is meeting the NIMBY resistance.
This is only a small sampling of the organizations, agencies, churches, and charities that have stepped up to help people in need, many supported only by the kindness of individuals from within the community. Yesterday, the Government of British Columbia introduced a Poverty Reduction Strategy for the province. If enacted, it will be the first such legislation in BC with targets, deadlines, and accountability. Now, it's also time for the Municipal government to do its part; we don't have to pretend any longer that the quality of life in the Township is equal for all.
"The problem with poverty in BC is you can’t see it. It doesn’t appear to affect your day to day life (which is not true) and thus there isn’t anything asking you to step-up and take action. Once we learn that this problem exists, that is when we have to take action." - Weekend Fuelbag
PUB NIGHT WITH STACEY WAKELIN
When: Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Fox & Hounds Pub and Restaurant at 26444 32 Avenue, Aldergrove
Stacey is running for a seat on Township of Langley Council and would love to see you at the Fox and Hounds in Aldergrove. If you would like to drop by and enjoy a drink or dinner, we would love to see you.
We have removed the ticket option, so if you would like to make a contribution to Stacey's campaign we would gratefully accept it. All contributions go towards paying for campaign signs and printing costs.