Vancouver City Council
CITY OF VANCOUVER
July 5, 2004
CC File No.:
September 14, 2004
Vancouver City Council
Community Project Manager
Downtown Eastside Crime Prevention / Community Development Project
THAT Council receive the Downtown Eastside Crime Prevention / Community Development Project Report and Evaluation Final Report 1999 - 2004 for information.
CITY MANAGER'S COMMENTS
The City Manager submits this report for Council's INFORMATION.
In 1998 Council approved A Program of Strategic Actions for the Downtown Eastside which includes an application to the National Crime Prevention Centre for an extensive community mobilization and capacity building project in Downtown Eastside.
PURPOSE AND SUMMARY
The City's application to the National Crime Prevention Centre for a demonstration Crime Prevention through Social Development Project (CPSD) entitled Building A Sustainable Future Together Project was approved in March 1999 and officially began one month later. As a demonstration project, the project, which was also later re-named the Downtown Eastside Community Development Project, was evaluated as it was being implemented so that lessons learned could be shared with other Canadian municipalities.
This report seeks to provide Council with an overview of the achievements of the project over the past five years and reports out on the final evaluation of project outcomes and learning from an independent evaluator, funded by the National Crime Prevention Centre. (Appendix A: Project Final Evaluation Summary Report 1999-2004).
The project was a five year project ending in March 2004 that involved a partnership between the City of Vancouver, the National Crime Prevention Centre, and other federal and provincial partners. The purpose of the project was to mobilize the Downtown Eastside community and build capacity among residents, agencies, and business representatives to address the root causes of crime such as poverty, homelessness, addictions and family issues in a cohesive and collaborative way. The goals were:
· to strengthen the participation of residents, agencies, and businesses in community decision-making
· to build community leadership
· to promote community cohesion
· to improve socio-economic conditions
· to influence the implementation of public policy that addresses risk factors associated with crime and victimization; and
· to promote, within the broader Vancouver community, recognition of the strengths and capacities of the Downtown Eastside low-income community.
These goals were fulfilled through the activities of five project components: Community Directions, Vancouver's Chinatown Revitalization Committee, Community Cohesion, Youth Employment, and Communication.
The evaluation concluded that, as a result of the project, there is greater capacity to work together to address the root causes of crime than there was before the project began. Community participation processes are, for the most part, working effectively. Individuals who had not played leadership roles before are now active in a leadership capacity. Communication between the community and government has improved. Programs identified as needed by the community and responding to specific needs are now operating. Diverse groups in the community are more likely to communicate and work together than they were before the project began. However, the evaluation also concludes that ongoing support for specific initiatives is required to maintain this capacity. As well, all levels of government need to maintain a commitment to community development both in how they interact in the community and in the support they provide.
HISTORY & BACKGROUND
The Downtown Eastside has long been considered Vancouver's poorest neighbourhood. In the early nineties, the problem became more complex with an increasingly visible drug scene and an escalating health emergency, especially among intravenous drug users. In the 1990s, the shifting patterns of drug use and enforcement, combined with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C epidemics, generated serious consequences to the whole City including an average of 147 deaths per year from drug overdoses in Vancouver from 1993 - 1999, with drug overdoses being the leading cause of death for males aged 30 - 49 years in 1998. Sex trade workers had disappeared leading to concerns about a serial murderer operating in the community. Homelessness had increased and services for people with mental illness who had been recently de-institutionalized did not meet their needs.
At the same time the Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods also experienced significant economic change, there had been a serious decline in retail investment, resulting in a growing number of storefront vacancies. In Chinatown, change continued to present new challenges with the growing suburbanization of the Lower Mainland's Asian community and the development of competing business centres to meet its needs. Many Gastown businesses also struggled to maintain their viability. In contrast, Strathcona had begun a slow gentrification process with a wave of house renovations and rising real estate prices. These social pressures combined with ongoing economic disinvestment were further complicated by conflicts between various social groups over housing, development, and drug policy, thus generating a perception in the broader community of an environment of disorder, decline, and crisis.
By 1998, the City of Vancouver realized that the scope of the situation was beyond the resources within its jurisdiction. The City believed that an effective response to what was happening in the Downtown Eastside would require coordinated action with the Federal and Provincial governments to address drug use, socio-economic marginalization, and intra-community conflict. In pursuing this policy direction, the City focused on four key initiatives:
· the formation, in 1997, of the Mayor's Coalition on Crime Prevention and Drug Treatment (now called the Four Pillars Coalition), a partnership between civic agencies and a wide range of community organizations and social service agencies, to respond to the growing HIV/AIDs epidemic among IV drug users in Vancouver and collectively undertake activities focused on preventing crime and promoting drug treatment in communities and municipalities throughout Greater Vancouver;
· development of a Strategic Action Plan, approved by Vancouver City Council in December 1998, to reduce the incidence of drug related crime by limiting illicit business activity, improve conditions in the public realm and SRO housing, and provide opportunities for community participation in planning decisions;
· a campaign for an urban development agreement that would commit the Federal and Provincial governments to an organizational framework for multilateral, coordinated action to improve conditions in the Downtown Eastside; and
· the 1998 submission of an application to the National Crime Prevention Centre's (NCPC) Crime Prevention Investment Fund (CPIF) for a `crime prevention through social development project' (CPSD) entitled `Building a Sustainable Future Together'.
An urban development agreement, named the Vancouver Agreement and signed in 1999, has since been implemented. The Agreement incorporated the programs originally promoted through the Mayor's Coalition and the DTES Strategic Action Plan.
The Building a Sustainable Future Together project was also approved, supported through a multilateral partnership involving the following partners making annual contributions over a five year period:
· the National Crime Prevention Centre $700,000 per year
· Human Resources Development Canada $200,000 per year (targeted funding
for non- profit group in DTES)
· Status of Women Canada $25,000 per year
· Department of Canadian Heritage $75,000 per year
· BC Ministry of Public Safety $25,000 for three years
and Solicitor General (for evaluation)
As noted above, the Building a Sustainable Future Together was subsequently renamed "the Downtown Eastside Community Development Project."
With the four strategic actions being undertaken simultaneously, the Downtown Eastside Community Development project became one part of a multi-faceted policy framework, directed through the City Manager's office, involving partnerships with the local community and the Federal and Provincial governments. To effectively manage this multi-faceted framework, the City organized all its Downtown Eastside programs under the umbrella of the Downtown Eastside Revitalization Program responsible for managing resources and coordinating the activities of several different departments approved under the program of Strategic Actions as well as the City's involvement in the Vancouver Agreement. The Downtown Eastside Revitalization Program was facilitated through an inter-departmental Core Staff Team which coordinated responses to problem businesses, substandard housing conditions, and public realm issues like sanitation and street lighting. The Core Staff team, which has proven to be an efficient and effective mechanism for coordination, continues to meet bi-weekly and is supported and facilitated through the City Manager's office.
The Downtown Eastside Community Development Project was a five-year "Crime Prevention through Social Development" demonstration project intended to improve community safety by dealing with the risk factors associated with crime and victimization, including alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, unemployment, lack of role models for youth and discrimination and racism.
Evaluation was an integral part of the project. An independent evaluator was hired for the duration of the project to monitor progress and record both outputs and outcomes. A project logic model (Appendix B: Project Logic Model) was adopted, and evaluation design was based on a participatory model using a blend of both qualitative and quantitative information to assess process as well as outcomes. An evaluation advisory committee was established to provide guidance and act as sounding board to the evaluator. The Evaluation Advisory Committee included evaluation resource staff from the National Crime Prevention Centre, BC Ministry of Public Safety, community members and the City's project manager.
The project was managed by a Community Project Manager from the City Manager's office with support from the City's financial / administrative system. A management committee involving senior managers of the partnering governments and community representatives met on a quarterly basis to provide input and guidance into the implementation of the project.
Consistent with the principles of community-based development, the original project goals were broad, leaving much room for community definition of a process and for responsive planning to changing conditions. City staff responsible for implementation began with an extensive outreach process to community groups and leadership. Each of these outreach activities resulted in significant levels of dialogue and mediation. A rough consensus was formed and identifiable processes began to take place. Thus by the end of year one, a project structure had been formed and general goals established. The process followed and achievements made by each component in that structure are detailed below.
Community Directions started as a response by a broad range of community-based organizations, social agencies, and individuals to the City's initial announcement of its intention to directly engage with the community around crime prevention and social development issues. Following a period of intense negotiation, it evolved into a `process' in which all the diverse parties concerned with supporting and representing low income residents were to formulate key planning priorities and devise means of achieving them.
Community Direction's purpose was mobilize and build leadership among the low-income community by bringing together residents and community organizations in a comprehensive planning process aimed at developing community-based solutions to various neighbourhood issues. Its goal was to ensure that all voices in this very diverse community were heard and that residents would take leadership roles in both the development of the plans and in their implementation. The community would decide how best to proceed and what activities should be undertaken.
This work took place through issue-specific Working Groups which brought their plans to the monthly plenary General Meetings. An elected Steering Committee guided the process but had minimal decision-making authority, which was vested in the plenary body. The City provided two community organizers, infrastructure support and program fund for capacity building and leadership development. Although the community organizers were hired by the City, they operated at arms length from the civic structure and took direction from the Community Directions plenary and the Steering Committee. The community felt that only if they had control of the process could they be assured that the outcomes of the project would truly benefit the low-income residents.
In the planning stage, Community Directions' primary goal was to ensure that the process included voices from all sectors of the community. To this end, they organized themselves into a number of culture and issue-based working groups, they were: Alcohol and Drug, Housing, First Nations Caucus, Latinos En Accion, Chinese Seniors, Child and Family, and Community Economic Development.
The first major activities of Community Directions involved research, outreach and planning. After undertaking extensive research and outreach on alcohol and drug, housing and community economic development, community plans were written and published. The next major step forward was the evolution of the community economic development working group into a non-profit society devoted to economic development from the grass-roots. EMBERS (East Side Movement for Business and Economic Renewal Society) was established in 2002 with a focus on increasing employment and self employment opportunities for residents. Then in 2002, the First Nation Caucus began holding healing circles which formed the basis for the Aboriginal Front Door.
In 2003 Community Directions Steering Committee decided to restructure the Community Directions process. The goals and objectives of the process did not change but the vehicle for their realization would no longer be the community plans only. Many of the concepts embedded in their plans were very similar to the directions that governments had begun to move forward. Moreover, the establishment of Vancouver Agreement, bringing together the three governments and working with community groups had now emerged to be one of the vehicles to implement revitalization work and concepts from the community plans. The focus of Community Directions then shifted towards the challenge of sustaining the working groups of residents that have been built up over the past few years.
Five working groups remained active: The Latinos, First Nations, Housing, Alcohol and Drug, and Child, Youth and Family. Each working group was allocated resources to develop an action plan for the final year of the project. The groups worked on identifying appropriate community partners and include sustainability as a key objective.
The Latin-American group have now formed the Latin-American Society in Action and in partnership with Union Gospel Mission (UGM) have established a "Centro Communal" at UGM's Hastings Street drop-in centre. They have also held several fairs and festivals in partnership with WATARI and Ray-Cam, developed a leadership building manual in Spanish for other community groups to use.
The First Nations working group has successfully established the Aboriginal Front Door, a First Nations traditional culture and healing centre located in the old Community Directions office on Main Street. Funding has been secured through 2004-5 from both provincial and federal governments for them to continue their work. They have also received funding to hire an aboriginal outreach worker to help introduce homeless aboriginal people to the healing circle. They have also formed a partnership with the Vancouver Aboriginal Council and the United Native Nations to develop a DTES Aboriginal Strategy. A video documenting the Front Door's work has been produced and will, it is hoped, be broadcast on APTN.
The Drug and Alcohol working group has held a series of harm reduction workshops at the Lifeskills Centre, a multi-purpose activity centre for those with alcohol and drug issues. Their future activities will be integrated with ongoing health activities supported by the Health Authorities.
The Child, Youth and Family group have been working on a project designed to enhance the community's ability to respond to child sexual exploitation. They have established Community Alert Teams to enable residents to better understand and respond to signs of child and youth sexual exploitation. Many community members have been trained to in reaching out to local organisations to help them establish CAT reporting sites where residents can report suspicious and/or illegal activities aimed at youth. Reporting sites have been established at, among other places, Ray-Cam, Strathcona and Carnegie Community Centres, DEYAS, First United Church and Vancouver Native Health. This increase in working together and the co-ordination of the reports and information by the group has improved the safety of youth in the Downtown Eastside. Ray-Cam Community Centre and the Eastside Safety Office will continue to co-ordinate the group's work after the project is finished.
The Housing working group has elected to practice what it planned and work with residents to secure safe and affordable housing. Four heritage houses on Jackson Avenue are the chosen venue. The residents have organized a housing co-op, secured project funding from CMHC and a substantial donation from a faith-based institution. They have hired a professional development consultant and are currently negotiating purchase with the landlord. To document their project, they have produced a striking booklet profiling the residents and their plans.
These are considerable achievements that add to the success of the community planning process. All the projects involve significant community leadership and are committed to building partnerships and enhancing community cohesion. Insofar as they focus on improving resident's health, housing or employment prospects, all contribute to socio-economic well-being by promoting and securing funding for resident-driven projects. Their impact on public policy is noticeable.
Chinatown Revitalization Process
The Chinatown Revitalization Project was initiated directly by the City in an effort to engage with the businesses and community agencies. Two community facilitators were hired to work with Chinatown organizations to set up and provide ongoing support to a Revitalization Committee, which provided the main forum for interaction among the various parties in the community and between them and the City. The Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee (VCRC) comprised of representatives from twenty eight diverse organizations in Chinatown. They represented groups from the cultural sectors, business sector, community service sector, family associations and youth network. The committee determined priority areas for planning and actions and set up eight sub-committees to carry out the work, the sub-committees are: Vision Development, Arts & Cultural Events, Sports Organization, Marketing & Promotion, Newsletter & Communications, Youth Network, Fundraising Dinner, and Transportation & Parking.
Over the course of the project, the VCRC provided a channel for developing action plans in various areas of concern including developing community leadership, and opening up the Chinatown business community to other sectors both within the neighbourhood and the Lower Mainland communities. A "Chinatown Vision" was developed to set a blueprint for Chinatown revitalization initiatives and was adopted by Council in June 2002. This Chinatown Vision will be used to guide City policy decisions, priorities, budgets and capital plans in Chinatown.
The Chinatown vision identifies the future Chinatown as a place that tells the area's history with its physical environment, serves the needs of residents, youth and visitors, and acts as a hub of commercial, social and cultural activities. The eleven vision directions are:
A Place that Tells the History with its Physical Environment
· Heritage Building Preservation
· Commemoration of Chinese-Canadian and Chinatown History
· Public Realm Improvements
· Convenient Transportation and Pedestrian Comfort
· A Sense of Security
A Place that Serves the Needs of Residents, Youth and Visitors
· Linkage to the Nearby Neighbourhoods and Downtown
· Youth Connection and Community Development
· Attractions for Vancouverites and Tourists
A Community with a Residential and Commercial Mixture Linkage to the Nearby Neighbourhoods and Downtown
· A Hub of Commercial, Social and Cultural Activities
· Diversified Retail Goods and Services
In May 2004 City Council passed a new resolution asking staff to report back on a work program to implement a comprehensive community plan for Chinatown. Given that this Chinatown Vision was developed from the residents and endorsed by the City, it will be used as the basis for the development of a comprehensive community plan.
Other Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee achievements included:
· embracing and taking ownership of leadership development, spearheading and partnering with new organizations,
· initiating public education and communication to inform and build the capacity of their residents and businesses,
· developing a comprehensive marketing strategy focusing on a positive image for Chinatown as well as installation of bilingual signage and product labels in stores,
· coordinating community festivals targeting the general public and youth with an aim to increase pedestrians on the streets, positive street activities, bringing back vibrancy to the neighbourhood,
· negotiating and coordinating of support for Millennium Gate, the Memorial Plaza, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden expansion, Sun Yat-Sen Courtyard Improvements and Chinatown Pedestrian Lighting Improvement Project.
All these initiatives have enabled the community to see significant improvements in Chinatown and attracted new investors. The work also attracted a younger generation of youth from post secondary institutions wanting to connect back to Chinatown, to rediscover their roots and identities. The increased knowledge, stronger leadership and increased capacity of community leaders and members lead to a closer working relationship and increased trust of governments and an increase in senior government investments in Chinatown. The VCRC has a commitment to continue working with the City and other levels of government to ensure that the Chinatown vision is implemented. The VCRC leadership has also gained valuable experience in working with the City and other governments, participate in public policy debate and action in co-operation with other groups to address risk factors associated with crime and victimization.
Youth Employment Training
Funding for the youth employment program was contracted through a community agency in Downtown Eastside in consultation with the City. The youth employment component involves the planning and implementation of a community-based youth employment initiative selected each year by project staff in consultation with the community. In year one, the Youth Employment Component was the Youth Research Project through which a crime and victimization study was undertaken. In years two and three the Youth Employment Component was the MoreSports program designed to build the employability of unemployed youth by developing and implementing a children's and youth sports league in East Vancouver.
MoreSports key focus is on surmounting the barriers that prevent low-income families and children from involvement in organized sports by building the infrastructure that will support a sustainable organized sports network in East Vancouver. In order to do this, MoreSports operates in three interrelated dimensions. First, utilizing the HRDC contribution to the DTESCDP, it provides a youth skill development program that focuses on leadership and sports administration. The youth leaders who take this skill development program gain experience by facilitating the next two elements of the program. The second of these is the introduction of children to the program via sports events which MoreSports organizes in schools, community centres, and parks. The third dimension of MoreSports is capacity building among parents and others in the community so that they will be able to provide the voluntary support necessary for a long term development and maintenance of organized children's and youth sports.
During the final year of the project the youth employment program supported PEERS, a social service agency providing support to youth who are involved in the sex trade. The employment program was part of a continuum supporting an exit strategy for those who are ready to seek alternate employment and exit the sex trade.
Community Cohesion is an overarching goal to create opportunities to bring together neighbourhoods working together; engaging diverse populations in positive community activities together. Many successful initiatives were implemented over the past five years including the Rive Gauche market bringing together Chinatown & Downtown Eastside; the Chinatown Arts Fair creating partnerships with the Friends of Victory Square; the Neighbours First Project involving Chinatown BIA, Gastown BIA, Chinese Community Police Centre & United We Can. Above all, the most significant event is the fundraising dinner hosted by VCMA to celebrate Carnegie Centre 100th birthday and to fund raise for the DTES Arts & Cultural trust fund. This event initiated by the Chinatown VCMA brought together the diverse populations, celebrating their contributions and support for each other in the broader Downtown Eastside community. The genuine community spirit was evident at this significant event.
Communication and Information
Communication is a key component to linking together all the different initiatives in DTES as well as ensuring accurate, factual information was shared by all residents. The communication component was very active in the first two years, particularly supporting the education and development of the Framework for Action Drug Policy and Health initiatives. A special public education campaign on the proposed Four Pillar approach to addictions, focusing on the multicultural communities was implemented in four languages: Chinese, Vietnamese, Punjabi and Spanish. A special communication strategy with the Chinese media was launched, including regular media briefings, to ensure factual information and contacts were established between governments and media. These efforts have proven to be effective in providing relevant and accurate information to the public in a timely manner.
DTES is a very complex community with diverse populations and interests, all learning to co-exist together. It has a history of mistrust and misunderstanding between the community and governments. Complex patterns of social, economic and cultural processes have come together to contribute to reducing crime and victimization. It is in addressing particular factors involved in these processes - at the individual, family and community levels - that crime prevention efforts can have the most impact.
The Downtown Eastside Crime Prevention / Community Development Project has adopted a comprehensive approach, working with a multitude of community organizations, agencies and all levels of government in an effort to create a community environment to reduce some of the risk factors associated with crime and victimization, and increase the community's capacity to prevent crime over the long-term. The project began in a time of tension within different groups in the community and between the community and government. Under such conditions all parties require patience and a willingness to persevere, to build the necessary level of trust and understanding, as well as nurturing community leadership. The dedicated resources provided by this project were critical towards building trust and a positive working relationship. This report and the attached evaluation summary provide evidence of the benefits accrued. This evidence is in the following project outcomes:
_ a broad range of community members have actively participated in developing community plans with respect to key issues such as housing, alcohol and drugs, services for children and families, and community economic development;
_ First Nations residents designed, and are actively participating in, an Aboriginal Healing program;
_ Latin American residents formed a self help group to advocate for improved access to services and employment opportunities;
_ the Chinatown community is working together effectively to revitalize their community and with other neighbouring communities to address common issues;
_ the leadership of the Chinatown community is evolving, providing more opportunities for youth;
_ a Chinatown vision was completed and endorsed by Council;
_ a community development corporation has been developed and supports residents to develop businesses;
_ a diverse group of community members have gained leadership skills and are now fulfilling leadership roles;
_ groups that had not previously worked together are now collaborating on community initiatives; and
_ children, youth, and their families are now active in soccer and basketball leagues.
Staff has applied to the National Crime Prevention Center to develop a post project communication strategy with resource materials, to share the outcomes and learning with other communities and cities that are beginning to engage in more comprehensive community safety initiatives. The strategy will demonstrate the value of using a comprehensive social development approach to crime prevention in a multiply disadvantaged, low-income neighbourhood. Lessons learned from this project can be of national interest, project components will be of use in the context of evidence-based crime prevention. In particular, resources produced from the new proposed project can be utilized by the NCPC and other interested parties to effectively illustrate the benefits of investing in a comprehensive, social development approach to addressing the root causes of crime.
- - - - -
FOSTERING CHANGE FROM WITHIN
Downtown Eastside Crime Prevention/Community Development Project Evaluation
Summary of the Final Report
1999 - 2004
Dr. K. Coyne
Community Development Planning and Evaluation Consultant
Strathcona Social and Community Research Group
In the early 1990s, poverty, homelessness, and addictions in inner city areas in major Canadian cities, such as Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES), increased significantly. The communities most affected also experienced disproportionately high rates of crime and victimization. By 1997, the City of Vancouver (The City) realized that the scope of the situation in the Downtown Eastside was beyond the resources within its jurisdiction and began planning to strategically address the issue with its partners in all levels of government. The City wanted to play a leadership role with community and government partners in creating a vibrant, safe, and healthy Downtown Eastside community.
One strategy was to mobilize and build the capacity of the Downtown Eastside community to work together and with government to address the root causes of crime such as addictions, homelessness and unemployment. In order to implement this strategy, The City applied to the National Crime Prevention Centre's (NCPC) Crime Prevention Investment Fund (CPIF) in 1998 for a `crime prevention through social development' (CPSD)1 demonstration project. The application was approved and the project was implemented from 1999 - 2004. As it was being implemented, it was also evaluated in order to assess the role of this action in addressing the root causes of crime. This report summarizes the findings of the evaluation report.
The project, originally entitled the Building a Sustainable Future Project, was a five-year CPSD demonstration project intended to:
improve community safety by dealing with the risk factors associated with crime and victimization, including alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, unemployment, lack of role models for youth and discrimination and racism.2
The project set out to address these risk factors by mobilizing the Downtown Eastside community and building community capacity to develop and implement community designed plans and priorities for crime prevention through social development initiatives. Because its aim was to be as community-based as possible, the project began with a focus on community process rather than pre-identified goals and objectives. As the process unfolded and trust established, a rough consensus on what the project could achieve and what it meant to be a demonstration project began to emerge. In order to provide a evaluation framework, project staff, the evaluator and community members worked together to develop "theory of change" and a logic model that identified goals, objectives and activities and the outcomes that would result. The name of the project was also changed to reflect the agreed upon direction.
The theory of change seemed to embrace what is commonly referred to as a Comprehensive Community Initiative.3 The project was renamed the Downtown Eastside Crime Prevention and Community Development Project. The articulated purpose was to mobilize and build community capacity to work together and with government to address risk factors associated with crime.
The project goals were to:
· strengthen participation of residents, agencies, and businesses in community decision-making
· build community leadership
· promote community cohesion
· promote communication amongst groups with divergent views
· improve socio-economic conditions that are the root causes of crime
· influence the implementation of public policy that addresses risk factors associated with crime and victimization; and
· promote, within the broader Vancouver community, recognition of the strengths and capacities of the Downtown Eastside low-income community.
The project was designed with five key components, each playing an important role toward achieving these goals:
· Community Directions focused on mobilizing and building capacity amongst the low income community, particularly those who are often excluded from decision-making processes
· Vancouver's Chinatown Revitalization Committee formed to strengthen the capacity of Chinatown businesses, family clans and community agencies to play an active role in revitalization of their community
· Coordination and Community Cohesion sought to connect disparate parts of the community by linking various initiatives in the community, facilitating communication with the City and other partners, connecting the project components to each other, and supporting other projects aimed at strengthening capacity
· Youth Employment provided training opportunities for youth at risk; and
· Communication and Information played an important role in educating the broader community, particularly the multicultural community throughout Vancouver, about the root causes of crime in the community.
The project was funded through a multilateral partnership with resources from each partners being dedicated to specific types of activities. The partnership included: the City of Vancouver, the National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC), Human Resources and Skills Development, Status of Women Canada, Department of Canadian Heritage and the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. This partnership, while at times challenging to coordinate, provided diverse resources and opportunities for integrated action.
Relationships to Other Initiatives
The project was connected with other City, Provincial and Federal initiatives. In 1999, the City organized all its Downtown Eastside programs under the umbrella of the Downtown Eastside Revitalization Program with responsibility for managing resources and coordinating the activities of several different departments approved under the program of Strategic Actions. The Downtown Eastside Revitalization Program also served as a conduit for the project to connect with the Vancouver Agreement, a multilateral urban development intended to facilitate municipal, provincial and federal governments to work collaboratively to address specific urban issues.
As noted above, the project adopted an outcomes approach with the expectation that if the goals and objectives were achieved, there would be change in the community's capacity to work together to address the root causes of crime, specific measurable results. In brief, the project activities were designed to achieve the following outcomes:
· individuals who are often marginalized in community processes such as low-income residents, First Nations, cultural groups, women and youth would feel part of community decision-making on crime prevention issues
· crime prevention through social development initiatives would be more successful because they are now more community owned
· a strengthened community leadership would understand the assets of community and engage residents in addressing the risk factors associated with crime in a positive way
· community resources would be effectively engaged to build community cohesion the foundation for safe communities
· socio-economic conditions that are the root cause of crime would begin to improve with residents securing employment, participating in treatment programs, and accessing stable housing
· policy makers would better understand the nature of the root causes of crime and, as a result, communication with between the community and government would improve, increasing the overall capacity for consensus
· there would be more community pride, positive recreation alternatives, recognition of culture and history, and improved community appearance; and
· public understanding of Downtown Eastside crime and victimization issues and support for action would be stronger.
The evaluation was designed and implemented in a participatory way. The evaluator facilitated the development of the logic model and corresponding evaluation plan with a Research Advisory Committee that included community representatives. Community researchers were hired to assist with data gathering and analysis. The evaluation involved both process and outcome assessments and was undertaken using a blend of qualitative and quantitative data gathering methods. Methods included:
· a preliminary assessment of community demographics, understanding of capacity building, and perceptions of crime and victimization
· a literature review on all related themes
· participant observation in many of the community meetings, celebrations and workshops
· annual key respondent interviews with individuals selected from project components, community groups, and government agencies involved in the process
· annual community perceptions surveys with respondents selected via a simple `person-on-the-street'4 method.
· participant profiles that explored the relationship between individual capacity building and community capacity building
· analysis of data collected from all sources through the lens of the theory of change including a gender analysis; and
· regular reporting including a baseline crime and victimization report, quarterly reports, annual interim evaluation reports, the community profiles, and the final evaluation report.
There were however several evaluation challenges that affect how the results of the evaluation are analyzed. First, ambiguity about the evaluation expectations with respect to scientifically-based, quantitative methodologies as opposed to participatory methods appropriate to community initiatives led to a corresponding ambiguity in the relationship between the researcher and community, and as a result in the data gathering process. It was also difficult to determine what, in a myriad of activities involving different partners, directly caused specific outcomes. When a causal relationship could be determined, it was also hard to appropriately assess the change because the pathway of change is different for every community group and standards or thresholds cannot reasonably be applied. Finally, many other factors also influence conditions in the community including: changing government policy, shifting political climates, and fluctuations in economic conditions. Thus, the project could well have made differences that were not discernable because other conditions intervened.
The evaluation found that the process undertaken is consistent with the principles and practices of comprehensive community initiatives. The project resulted in meaningful change or outcomes, some of which were anticipated and some unanticipated. However, the ambiguity in the projects goals and objectives in the beginning and in its relationship to other initiatives limited its potential to fully realize the goals eventually articulated.
The process that comprised this project was evolutionary with its overall design emerging over time. The evaluation examined this process to answer questions about how the project was planned and implemented.
How was the Project Planned?
The project shifted its approach at the very beginning, in response to community concerns. This shift led to a more trusting relationship between the community and the City and opened the way for innovation. But it also created some confusion. Various stakeholders did not understand the relationship between this project and other initiatives and it was, as a result, difficult to then create those relationships. Some opportunities were lost as a result.
Did the Goals Change?
When the project was first approved, the specific goals were purposefully fairly broad. Project proponents intended that the goals and objectives be defined by the community as part of the community outreach and mobilization process. This took some time to occur because there was significant community conflict over many issues and the project participants needed time for their own vision for the community to gel. At the end of the first year, the evaluator worked with the project staff and community representatives to develop a project logic model that clarified goals and objectives. The process of doing so at that point contributed to an understanding of the roles of the different components leading to stronger consensus on what the project was intended to do.
Were Inputs Applied as Expected?
Project inputs were applied in collaboration with the community and in response to community plans and priorities. Each component was given a core budget for pre-planned activities. All components of the project used donated resources whenever possible. Existing community space was used for meetings, equipment was contributed from offices that were closing, and equipment was borrowed from other community agencies. Additional resources for project activities and initiatives that emerged on an ongoing basis were sought within the project, within the City and from other levels of government. Examples of these are EMBERs and the Aboriginal Front Door that secured external resources with support from City staff and Vancouver Agreement partners.
What Were the Target Groups?
The main target group for Community Directions was low income residents, particularly those most marginalized. Community Directions was generally viewed as `highly successful' in involving of low-income residents and in addressing barriers to participation of specific population groups. This success in facilitating participation was based on the formation of trust relationships with individual members. Women were well represented and particular attention was paid to the involvement of cultural groups including First Nations, Latinos, and Chinese-speaking seniors.
The primary target groups for VCRC were community stakeholders including organizational representatives and business owners serving both Chinatown and the Chinese community throughout the Lower Mainland. Over the life of the project, the membership came to be comprised of representatives of 24 groups representing four major organization types: social services, business-oriented groups, cultural groups, and community organizations. VCRC was particularly successful in engaging the family clan associations, the traditional social support group for Chinese Canadians in Chinatown, and in inspiring youth to get involved in the change process.
Although the primary target group for the Youth Employment component was unemployed youth-at-risk in Vancouver overall, this component of the project also targeted children and families of the neighbourhood, with particular emphasis on parents in order to get them more involved with their children in sport.
The target groups for the Coordination and Cohesion component were the community in general and the various project initiatives including Community Direction, VCRC, and the Youth Training and Employment Program linking these components to the business sector, major institutions, and other government agencies. The Communication component was directed to both the residents of the Downtown Eastside and Vancouver as a whole, particularly the ethno-cultural community, with the intention of keeping citizens informed about activities and giving them an opportunity for input into city-wide policies that impact them.
How Were Decisions Made?
The project was successful in engaging decision-making at four levels:
· a Management Committee comprised of funder and community representatives met at regular intervals throughout the five years and was viewed as effective way of sharing information and relationship building.
· administrative decision-making occurred in contractual relationships between NCPC and the City of Vancouver, a process made more complex by frequent staff changes early in the project
· staff decision-making was facilitated through a project coordination team and connections to the Core Staff Team meeting on alternating weeks which facilitated the identification of opportunities amongst the various components and within the broader City structure
· at the community level, Community Directions and VCRC had authority for autonomous decision-making with Community Directions following a grassroots organizing model and VCRC making decisions at their General Meetings following recommendations from eight sub-committees.
There are several ways in which the project was managed and administered that was particularly appropriate for a project of this nature. First, it was fairly open in design from the outset. This meant that the community actually could influence its design, an important trust building characteristic for a project of this nature. This openness demonstrated flexibility on the part on the part of the City and project funders, particularly NCPC. Second, the project was able to be flexible in how it provided day to day management. The project was coordinated with other City initiatives in the area and was managed out of the City Manager's office. This management approach gave it focused attention and resources that might not have been available had the project been centred elsewhere. This attention was coordinated in a flexible way through Core Staff meetings. Third, because the City of Vancouver and the funders participated in the Vancouver Agreement, the project was highly successful in leveraging additional resources for specific initiatives.
However, the project encountered some difficulty at the beginning when the nature of the project was not clearly understood. City staff in the different departments did not fully understand the role the project played in the DTESRP and as a result did not fully capitalize on opportunities available through the established community processes. Similarly, the funders did not fully understand the project. The City of Vancouver saw the project as a community development process while NCPC saw it as a demonstration CPSD project, or essentially a research project. It took approximately two years to reconcile these two perspectives.
What Were the Activities and Outputs?
Each component identified appropriate activities to meet the needs of its target groups. These activities were undertaken in stages, based on the level of capacity in the group at that time.
Community Directions coordinated the following broad sets of activities with corresponding outputs:
· established the structure and terms of reference for a "grassroots" process focusing on community organizing, collaboration, and the achievement of broad-based agreement on strategies and partnerships with existing organizations.
· built a vision beginning with an asset inventory to identify how residents saw their community and envisioned a low-income friendly community
· coordinated a planning process in key areas: community economic development, housing, alcohol and drug use, children and families, and First Nation and Latinos specific issues
· built partnerships with other community and government agencies to implement these plans including the formation of a community development corporation (EMBERS), a healing centre for aboriginal people (Aboriginal Front Door), a drop-in centre for Latinos (Latinos en Accion), and a housing trust; and
· planned for sustainability of specific initiatives in which each Working Group was allocated resources to develop an action plan for the final year of the project.
There were four main phases to the VCRC activities which were sometimes overlapping:
· City staff worked with a small group of community representatives to build trust, explore what a revitalization process might look like and to build relationships through involvement in small projects
· the Chinatown Vision was developed through a process that involved research into community issues, extensive community outreach, participatory planning Chinatown, and approval by City Council
· an implementation of the Vision including coordination of sporting events, public festivals and community events, improvement to public spaces, development of marketing strategies, and planning and coordination of cultural events; and
· ongoing relationship building and leadership development.
The Youth Employment component involved the planning and implementation of a community-based youth employment initiative selected each year in consultation with the community The first training program, Youth Research Training, gathered crime and victimization data used as the basis of a preliminary crime and victimization report. The second training program, MoreSports, trained young adults to set up and manage community recreation programs. The training was provided through an innovative community recreation program designed to give low-income children and families opportunities to participate in sport.
Specific Community Cohesion actions included: overall project coordination and planning, facilitation of the Community Directions transition, assistance to the First Nations Caucus to set priorities and present those priorities to other levels of government, coordination of the Neighbours First initiative, and communication of project priorities to Vancouver Agreement committees. The project coordinator also supported leadership development activities within each component and coached Community Direction members in proposal writing, communication with government, budgeting and planning.
The Communication and Information component of the project coordinated outreach to the ethno-cultural community on the Drug and Alcohol Strategy, translated information bulletins and facilitated relationships with the multicultural media to de-mystify issues such as substance misuse, crime, victimization, poverty, and homelessness.
How Sustainable are Plans and Processes?
The implementation of the plans established through this project requires resources, partnerships, linkages that go far beyond the scope of the project. The degree to which these plans are incorporated in broader plans to address risk factors will be the ultimate measure of whether this project made a difference.
Projects that are most likely to be sustainable are those that built a strong, committed volunteer base, an understandable planning and decision-making structure and strong relationships with different levels of government. The Aboriginal Front Door is comprised of members with a strong commitment to a specific purpose, healing for aboriginal people. The VCRC has a clear, understandable planning and decision-making process that members agree to and participate in. MoreSports developed a strong relationship with the Parks Board, engaged existing government funding mandates in a creative fashion while also attracting alternative funding. Other project initiatives, while contributing to the fulfillment of project goals, will likely not be sustainable independently but will be incorporated into other community projects and programs.
The outcomes evaluation determined whether the changes anticipated in the original logic model where achieved and to what degree. This section highlights some of the outcomes achieved grouped by the goals of the project and summarizes key challenges.
The project was successful in facilitating the involvement of marginalized groups in planning and priority setting with respect to initiatives that address the root causes of crime. Outcomes of the work to strengthen community participation include:
· the facilitation of Community Directions, a resident based planning and priority setting process involving over 300 individual residents and 80 agencies with visible minorities, primarily First Nations and Hispanic residents compose approximately 20 - 25 % of the Community Directions meetings and women representing approximately 50% of participation
· establishment of the Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee which sustained the involvement of over 32 businesses, clan associations and community groups after the project is over and inspired significant ongoing youth engagement
· a change in the perception of the degree of community involvement in the planning and decision-making with 68.8% of key respondents agreed or strongly agreed that resident input had been strengthened through the project, 79% of key respondents experienced community planning and decision-making as more inclusive, and 85.2% of key respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that First Nations participation had been strengthened by this project; and
· overtime, the project served as conduit for community input at multiple levels of the public decision-making, with the Project Manager and Coordinator representing project interests at various Vancouver Agreement committees and perceived as a strong community advocate.
The way in which participation was achieved in the two main community processes was very different. Each process required a particular understanding and skill set that limited the breadth of participation achieved. VCRC did not make as much progress in involving residents as might be expected in a comprehensive community initiative. Community Directions was less successful in sustaining the involvement of community agencies. The attention paid to engaging individual residents drew away from the resources available to network and build support among community agencies.
Leadership Skills Development
The capacity for community leadership that promotes and supports initiatives to improve the quality of life and reduce crime and victimization was increased through this project. Evidence that leadership skills were developed includes:
· community assets were routinely used as the basis for planning
· the majority of key respondents described skills development as a critical element of capacity building
· 94% of key respondents perceive that there is greater opportunity for leadership skill development since the project began
· specific activities provided evidence of a change in skills including meeting coordination, public relations campaigns, outcome planning and financial management.
What has not yet been fully realized is the link between the leadership development and the influencing public policy. Leadership development strategies need to be designed to go beyond training to coaching individuals to have direct input on behalf of their groups to decision-making.
The ability of the community to work together and with government to address the complex issues that lead to crime and victimization increased as a result of this project, The change in the dynamics of the community include:
· the commitment to partnership development to address the root issues was strengthened within the project components
· 64.7% of key respondent either agree or strongly agree that communication with the municipal government has been strengthened and 67.7% with the federal government
· 84% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that understanding among community groups has been strengthened
· 86% disagree or disagree strongly that the community is more in conflict than it was before the project began
· Chinatown Revitalization participants have identified a sense of collective achievement and commitment to continue the work.
This project seems to have played an important role in mediating and resolving conflict between interests in the community. In particular, the VCRC was highly successful in fostering a shift in the relationship between the Chinatown business community, the municipal government and low income groups has shifted. There is broad consensus that harm reduction should be the main approach for the time being. Community Directions by undertaking extensive outreach on the issues played an important role in achieving this agreement. Although the project achieved significant linkages between initiatives and addressed important gaps, comprehensive coordination of community decision-making was not achieved.
Improved Socio-Economic Conditions that are Root Causes of Crime and Victimization
It is recognized that to realistically address the socio-economic conditions that increase the likelihood of crime and victimization occurring is a long-term endeavour involving local, provincial, nation and global change. Because of this complexity, it is also difficult to determine causal relationships for change that does occur. Nonetheless, the data collected in this evaluation suggests that there is evidence of progress in the form of community plans and programs to improve conditions. Indicators that progress has been made toward achieving this outcome includes:
· 65% of key respondents agree or strongly agree that the quality of life in the community has improved since the project began
· 74% agree or strongly agree that access to drug and alcohol treatment services has improved since the project began
· several participating residents are involved in healing processes
· access to sport for low-income children has increased and parents are now more involved supporting their children in team sports
· over 15 residents have found employment as a result of involvement in this project and small businesses have been formed
· community housing, alcohol and drug and community economic development activities have been developed and are being used in the development and delivery of programs
· a land trust has been developed; and
· unemployed youth have been trained and supported to find employment and go on to further education.
Despite this progress in addressing socio-economic conditions that are the root causes of crime, the link between many of the initiatives and crime prevention through social development (CPSD) was difficult for many involved in the project to sustain primarily because of a distrust of conventional crime prevention models.
Influence on Implementation of Public Policy
A community that feels it can make a difference is more likely to act to prevent crime and victimization from occurring. Indicators that the community has made a difference in influencing policy development with respect to the root causes of crime includes:
· an effective City integrated staff team working collaboratively to address issues drawing additional resources to addressed community identified needs
· government representatives indicate that they work with the community differently as a result of this project
· collaboration on the part of three levels to government to: implement health initiatives, implement public realm projects in Chinatown and Victory Square, support the development of the Front Door, coordinate economic development planning, investment in low threshold employment and business development, and other similar activities
· MoreSports is perceived to have established a foothold, has secured additional resources to support continuity, and is well integrated into the Parks Board system
· specific initiatives of Community Directions, specifically the Aboriginal Front Door and EMBERS are perceived to have some capacity for sustainability; and
· the City wanted maintain this model into the future and took action to ensure there low-income community representation on Olympic Planning Committees.
This project influenced public policy with respect to root causes of crime by making public policy makers more aware of the importance of including the voice of the community and the challenges of doing so. This was achieved a consistent pursuit of a collaborative partnership approach by City staff. However, the promise of a coordinated community table to identify issues and develop strategies to address them was not been borne out.
One of the reasons that this was not achieved is that the project was undertaken in an environment where there are many overlapping and sometimes contradictory influences. Governments tended to emphasize the importance of immediate action in response to the issues and to take advantage of the resources available. Community groups wanted to take time for people to be heard and to design programs in participatory ways. These conditions made it difficult to undertake coherent, purposeful planning. There is a need for more time and resources for ongoing relationship building and maintenance to allow relevant opportunities for the new leadership to have input into public policy decisions.
Recognition of the Strengths and Capacities of the DTES Community
A community that is recognized for its strengths and where there is a common understanding of the issues is more likely to be supported in addressing those issues. Evidence that the public perception of the community issues is changing include:
· a change in understanding of drug and alcohol issues in the ethno-cultural community and diminished resistance to the Four Pillars Plan
· 100% of VCRC members interviewed indicate a stronger understanding of the issues in the community and a greater awareness of the need to address the root causes
· VCRC worked with Carnegie to raise funds for an arts endowment
· There is greater awareness of the need for alternative CED evidenced by the support for low threshold employment or business development options
· 100% of VCRC members interviewed expressed a commitment to maintaining the process after the project is over; at the same time, they expressed concern about the availability of resources to support the work
· project staff and program representatives have informed the public and professional audiences about the nature of the project in numerous venues including conferences, political presentations, and community tables; and
· there has been a change in the way the Chinese media profiles the community, with more emphasis on the changes that are occurring.
There are key aspects of the project that have made a significant contribution to change in perception of the community. Notably, the VCRC has played an invaluable leadership role in guiding Chinatown into the revitalization continuum. The Aboriginal Front Door has placed community healing on the map and demonstrated the way this can occur, one person at a time. EMBERs has carved out a niche in supporting the potential for very small business as a vehicle for income generating in a marginalized population.
These changes however need to also be placed in the context of action taken by other levels. For example, could the confidence of the Chinese business community have been built without the strong police action? Could the public realm in the community have improved without investment from Western Diversification? The image of the Downtown Eastside within the Broader Vancouver community has not yet changed; however, with the emphasis placed on it through this and other initiatives, there is greater awareness of the complexity of the issue and importance of alternative approaches to resolution of the issues.
In undertaking the work of the project and achieving these outcomes, much was learned about implementing a Comprehensive Community Initiative in the Downtown Eastside. The project yielded specific lessons about program design, project management and administration, and evaluation that could be useful for community-based projects in the Downtown Eastside and other inner city communities across Canada.
The lessons learned with respect to program design include:
· Although many government agencies and non-governmental funders require a project logic model or clear definition of project goals and objectives before the project begins, the process of articulating what the project intends to do with the targeted community is an important aspect of trust building that takes a considerable amount of time and offers many opportunities for learning by doing. It is, however, important to articulate the relationship between Comprehensive Community Initiatives, capacity building and CPSD very early on, communicate it clearly and regularly so that the relationship to crime prevention is not lost.
· Community participation processes appropriate for the Downtown East side should be designed with clear attention to marginalized groups in the community with special recognition of the particular needs of cultural groups, First Nations and those living in poverty. Sufficient staff resources with the skills to create safe venues for individual residents and support the participation of marginalized residents in community participation processes is required for capacity building in marginalized communities. By engaging community agencies in community participation processes, connections can be made to groups of residents that use their programs but who might otherwise not be involved in community processes they are involved in.
· Successful community processes have clearly articulated decision-making processes with a mechanism for accountability to the broader community including residents, agencies, businesses and other stakeholder groups.
· Capacity building involves skill development at all levels. There is a need for government staff to be trained in community development and capacity building techniques so that they can adopt a community pace, adapt bureaucratic requirements to the community and communicate the needs of government more effectively. Community members also require training and support on specific aspects of working with government including proposal writing, communication, negotiation and mediation, outcome planning and measurement, and government accountability requirements.
· Once community participation processes are in place and capacity is emerging, it is important to promote the concept of comprehensiveness planning to all groups to increase the opportunities to address multiple inter-related risk factors in a collaborative and integrated way. A community government roundtable would then provide a venue for coordinated planning so that the participants in the process can see how their input is making a difference.
· When targeting a project to specific components, planning is needed to create linkages between these components and increase the pace and strength with which these components connect.
· Ongoing support, beyond the life of a project, for ongoing leadership development and relationship building is needed so that the emerging leadership and new partnerships can be sustained.
Lessons learned about the management and administration of the project include:
· In conflicted environments where trust levels are low, it is important to have management and staff who are advocates for the community, meditative in their approach and flexible in their approach to problem solving.
· The development of a project logic model in a participatory way early on in the project allows the project to build consensus and clearly communicate its role to all participants and partners.
· Comprehensive projects are highly complex and confusing for many, it is important to ensure the process is understood within the municipal structure and by other levels of government so that ongoing support can be consolidated.
· Staff continuity over the life of the project is critical to a process that has such a high trust building focus but where that is not possible, full orientation for new staff to the complexity of issues and processes would help ease the transition.
· Regular community - government meetings and inter-departmental senior staff meetings provide important venues for discussion about ways that resources can be shared and efficiencies achieved.
· Planning for sustainability from the outset ensures that the participants are engaged in community planning beyond the resources currently available through the project.
Some of the lessons learned about evaluation include:
· Adoption a theory of change approach to evaluation using a logic model developed in a participatory way helps participants understand and contribute to how change in the community will be assessed.
· The application of participatory methodology, involving project participants in an advisory committee, hiring community researchers, and engaging residents in analysis of the findings, alleviates some of the stigma attached to evaluation and provides opportunity for community members to feel some ownership of the evaluation process.
· An understanding and agreement with funder and other government agencies about the approach to evaluation to be adopted should be facilitated before the project begins so that expectations are consistent and well communicated.
· A process that educates project participants on an ongoing basis on what to expect from the evaluation and how the findings can strengthen their work, increases the projects capacity to use the findings on an ongoing basis.
· Because a comprehensive project involves many process, partnerships and participants, it is important to focus the evaluation early on so that data collected is manageable.
· Qualitative data provides opportunities for in-depth stories to be collected and gives participants and funders a better understanding of the impact of the project on individual day to day lives.
· The development and implementation of a plan to use the results for planning purposes and to communicate the results on an ongoing basis increases awareness of the outcomes of the project.
PROJECT LOGIC MODEL
Article I. GOALS
Strengthen participation of residents, agencies, and businesses in community decision-making
Develop an inclusive resident-based planning process
Bring residents together to determine and create appropriate processes
Negotiate consistent working principles and protocols between community and gov't
Create ongoing communication channel between community processes
Participate in all processes and promote linkages to other City Initiatives
Review participation at meetings and events to gauge access
Articulate cultural differences in community development processes
Principles and protocols
Diversity of people and groups involved
Additional resources secured
Greater resident involvement in decision-making
Regular communication between processes
Initiatives that are more successful because of community ownership
More effective community processes
Community input into decisions
Support the development of a community-based structure that facilitates the involvement of the low-income community
Support the establishment and ongoing development of Community Directions as a vehicle for ensuring voices of low-income residents are heard
Facilitate an accessible site to meet Community Directions objectives
Support development of governance structures and review mechanisms
Implement administrative and other supports
Seek Community Directions involvement in Project planning
Promote involvement of residents of SROs and family association housing in Chinatown Visioning
Diversity of people and groups involved
Additional resources secured
Greater resident involvement in decision-making
Low-income residents feel included in decision-making
Decisions reflect the needs of low-income residents
Low-income residents have a greater sense of community
Respect for diversity increases
Address barriers to participation of low-income residents including language and cultural groups in the community
Support First Nations Caucus
Establish culture and language-based groups
Develop processes that are alternatives to meetings such as cultural activities
Develop annual youth at risk project
Promote outreach to existing groups
First Nations and culture-based working groups
Culturally relevant processes
First Nations control of First Nation programs
Greater involvement of cultural groups
Youth included and involved in community processes
Promote involvement of service providers including health, education, culture, social and recreation groups
Identify and inventory services
Contact service providers and provide information about the community processes
Connect service providers to mapping project
Review involvement of service providers in community processes
# and diversity of groups involved
Additional resources secured
Maps of community services
Greater understanding between groups
Plans benefit from agencies previous experience
Promote the involvement of the business community
Develop and support appropriate processes such as Chinatown Visioning and Gastown Heritage planning process
Ensure business processes are inclusive of low- income residents
Link Community Directions processes and business initiatives
Promote involvement of business community in CED
Promote business contributions to community projects
Business opposition declines
Collaborative projects between business and community
Business investment in community projects
Business supports community
Negative impact on business is diminished
More business start-ups
Build Community Leadership
Adopt an assets approach supporting the involvement of low-income and/or marginalized residents
Support community organizing based on the asset inventory
Undertake appropriate asset inventories
Provide support to evaluate and assist
Database of assets in community
# of residents trained in asset inventory work
Understanding of assets of community
Access to people with skills and abilities
Community initiatives building from strengths
Support skill development as identified by community residents
Promote and coordinate appropriate training
Identify and provide community development and leadership training
Implement training programs in mobilization, facilitation and mediation skill development
Develop mentorship opportunities
Support skills development initiatives related to local employment
# and type of training provided
# of people involved
# of mentor relationships
Increased skills for employment
Residents successfully competing for jobs
Support research required for capacity building and planning
Identify research priorities
Conduct research required for planning, decision-making and implementation
Collaborate with research partners
Strengthen linkages between community and university
Facilitate discussion between community and university on issues related to research in the community
Design a central repository for research
Develop ongoing library of research undertaken in the community
Research on crime and wellbeing indicators
Database of existing community services and resources
Research on drug use
Understanding of resources in community
Access to organizational assets
Research used in planning processes
Promote community cohesion
Promote communication amongst groups with divergent views
Coordinate information sharing between community processes
Develop and implement a strategy for strengthening communication
Facilitate opportunities for diverse groups to come together over common issues
# of regular information sharing meetings
Ongoing sharing of research and other documents
# of people involved in workshops
Greater capacity for consensus
Enhance community spirit through special events and festivals
Support community events, festivals and other community building activities identified through the Community Direction process
Link other events to Community Directions
Promote culture-based activities
# of events held
Type of events held
# of people involved
# and type of partnerships
Greater community pride
Positive recreation alternatives
Recognition of culture and history
Build trust and ability to resolve conflict within community and with gov't
Provide issue-oriented mediation support to resolve community concerns
Develop communication protocols
Create new models for joint community gov't partnerships
Coordinate information sharing between community processes and with gov't
# of residents participating in Steering Committees
# of Chinese translations of documents
Change in attitudes about people in poverty
Support public education to foster community-wide understanding of community issues and initiatives
Educate the public through public presentations, small group discussions, etc
Provide translation and interpretation for public meetings and relevant documents
Develop regular newsletters
# of regular information sharing meetings
Ongoing sharing of research and other documents
# of people involved in workshops
Greater capacity for consensus
Improve public space and general community appearance
Identify, through community processes, specific projects for open space beautification
Develop a public space advisory with community members and staff
Initiate and support public space projects
# and type of projects
Membership on advisory committee
Community involvement process implemented
Community input into open-space beautification
Improved community appearance
Strengthening of pride
Improve socio-economic conditions
Support the establishment of community-based priorities and a comprehensive plan
Develop working groups around key quality of life themes
Identify from the community priorities, key programs, projects, services and other initiatives required
Link community priorities to existing planning processes
Facilitate discussion between Community Directions, other organizations, and gov't (the City/other levels) on the implementation of community priorities
# and type of working group activity
participation in working group
Incorporation of community plans in public policy
Increased cooperation between community and gov't
Design and implement community-based projects based on community assets, needs and priorities
Identify specific projects that emerge from the comprehensive plan
Establish principles for projects to be supported and processes for selection
Identify funding sources for projects
Establish required governance and management structures
Facilitate discussion to identify possible community partners
Support development of EMBERS as a CDC and specific collaborative social enterprise initiatives
Principles for project selection
# of housing, health, education, safety, children/family, and economic development initiatives
$ for projects
# and type of partnerships
Establishment of CDC
Structure and policies of CDC
Greater capacity to address housing issues
Establishment of housing plan
Improved housing for low-income people
Improved access to A&D services
Collaborative A&D projects
Plan for ongoing sustainability of projects initiated under the Revitalization Project into the long-term
Identify activities that will be ongoing after the life of the project
Identify supports required
Develop long-term business plans for ongoing projects
$ in place
Continued development support
Longterm vitality of community
Influence the implementation of public policy that addresses risk factors associated with crime and victimization
Promote communication between all levels of gov't
Link with Vancouver Agreement initiatives
Identify other economic and crime prevention initiatives in Vancouver and other crime prevention initiatives across Canada
Compilation of research undertaken by municipal, federal and provincial gov'ts
Scope of participation of Community Directions in PEACH
Greater collaboration and understanding
Less effort required for conflict resolution
Coordinate with other City of Vancouver Strategic Actions
Establish an office to support and coordinate project activities
Coordinate with Drug Strategy
Link with initiatives of Engineering Department
Promote community development activities with VPD initiatives
Involve Engineering, Planning and Police Department in fostering discussion with business community
Promote information sharing and problem solving around implementation of public services
Knowledge and awareness of other city initiatives
Perception that there is a will for action
Degree of cross-fertilization of ideas
Strengthening perception of City leadership
Greater efficiency and less duplication
Promote community capacity building as an effective process for all levels of gov't
Facilitate discussion and provide information about capacity building
Participate in the Vancouver Agreement Community Capacity Building Committee
Undertake workshop for gov't on community capacity building in key areas
Compilation of research undertaken by municipal, federal and provincial gov'ts
Scope of participation of Community Directions in PEACH
Training program for gov't partners
Greater collaboration and understanding
Less effort required for conflict resolution
Promote, within the broader Vancouver community, recognition of the strengths and capacities of the DTES low-income community
Foster communication strategies that promote positive images and highlight the attributes and community capacities of the DTES
Develop community capacity for public education and promotion
Support media strategy for Community Directions
Support the design and development appropriate communication materials for community initiatives
Public relations materials prepared
# of residents trained
Chinese translations of all documents
Public perception and support is strengthened
Understanding of issues has greater depth
Develop a plan for broader community education about the DTES program
Foster collaborative media strategy development
Undertake media strategy to strengthen understanding within diverse ethnic communities
Work with Chinese media committee
Chinese translations of all documents
Greater understanding and support of the larger community
Acknowledgement of need for resources
Ensure process sustainability
Maximize role of partner organizations
Promote planning for process sustainability
Participation in the Project Management Committee
Activities of the Project Management Committee
Use of the Revitalization Project office
Greater awareness of the scope of the project
Improved integration of various components
* * * * *