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Just ask Angie: Poverty Action Project enters next stage

Q: Can you tell me more about the Resource Centre’s Be The Change Project?
Just Ask Angie file
Angie Theilmann is a information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre. She has a biweekly column with the Coast Reporter.

Q: Can you tell me more about the Resource Centre’s Be The Change Project? 

A: Yes! The Be the Change Project is the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre’s second phase of the Poverty Action Project. This phase of the project is aimed at changing how conversations, actions and advocacy around poverty are happening on the Coast. 

Chris Hergesheimer is project manager for the project. He underlines that Be The Change is about engaging and encouraging whole groups of our community who aren’t usually involved in community-building and anti-poverty work. So, you’re going to see Chris and his Poverty Action Team show up at various locations up and down the Coast from now until June 2024. 

“Expect to see us in public spaces, at community hubs and pubs trying hard to rally the whole community in a collective, unified effort to make real change,” Hergesheimer tells me. He stresses that with increasing cost of living challenges facing our communities, we MUST have different conversations and use different approaches to combating poverty if we are to create a thriving, equitable Sunshine Coast. 

Starting in the New Year – from January to June – the project will pick particular focus topics every month and present them to the community in creative ways. This way, as a community, we can really consider how to take collective action to address these topics in terms of how they relate to poverty on the Coast. Topics range from housing in January, to health access in April, to transportation and mobility in May. 

When I asked Chris about the idea that so many people would love to help, but aren’t sure how to add anti-poverty work into their already busy lives, as they themselves try to make ends meet, Chris was quick to remind me that there are countless, diverse, and creative ways people can share their skills these days to make it happen and that every little bit really does matter. 

To find out more about this project, I strongly encourage you to take time out of your schedule if you can, to attend the information session closest to you. The presentations won’t be too long, and will give you a good idea about what to expect in the New Year, and how you can get involved. Most importantly, these intro sessions will give some background and more answers as to how deeply important this project is to supporting our community members here on the Coast if we want to see the gap between those who are thriving and struggling lessen in our lifetimes. 

December info sessions 

Gibsons, Dec. 11 at Gibsons Public Market, doors at 5:30 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m.; Roberts Creek, Dec. 12 at Roberts Creek Hall, doors at 4:30 p.m., presentation at 5 p.m.; Sechelt, Dec. 13, Sechelt Seaside Centre, doors at 5:45, presentation at 6:15 p.m.; Pender Harbour on Dec. 15 at Pender Harbour Community Hall, doors at 5:30 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m. 

Find out more about Be The Change on our website: resourcecentre.ca/program/be-the-change/ or contact the Resource Centre directly. As well, if you are having trouble making ends meet, but are not sure what resources and supports may be out there for you, please know that the Resource Centre is here to help you connect with programs and services that may be able to help. Our contact information is below. 

Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub at 107A - 5710 Teredo. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: help@resourcecentre.ca or 604-885-4088. Search our online directory at www.resourcecentre.ca.