Central Island


Tel: (250) 729-7400

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Fax: (250) 729-8048

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United Way Central Island
204 - 2290 Bowen Road
Nanaimo, BC
V9T 3K7

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Our Community In Action

Central Vancouver Island communities are involved. In its leadership role, the United Way is one of a number of community agencies that promote and facilitate bringing together individuals and organizations from across the community and across the region to identify local issues, set goals and targets to improve quality of life, and take action to bring about change. These initiatives are directed by steering committees made up of community members, including interested citizens, agencies, government and business representatives.

The impetus created by the various initiatives empowers individuals and groups, fosters social cohesion and is a resource for the community.

Your United Way provides leadership in a number of initiatives:

Central Vancouver Island Success By 6®

The United Way Central Island is one of the Lead Partners for Central Vancouver Island Success By 6® which is responsible for establishing a Success By 6® initiative in this region. Success By 6® is a provincial partnership to build the capacity of parents and communities throughout British Columbia so that children 0-6 can be healthy, safe and secure, socially engaged and responsible and successful learners. Major Funding though Early Childhood Development Provincial Partnership, Ministry For Children and Family Development. For further information, please click here.

Social Development Strategy Initiative

As Chair of the Social Development Strategy Initiative, the United Way is taking a leadership role in bringing together a cross sectoral steering committee to create a social vision for Nanaimo. Social problems are present and persistent in all cities. Nanaimo is no longer a small rural town, and, increasingly, it will experience social problems that attend to urban development. The Social Development Strategy project was begun in response to those social issues that threaten the quality of life of all residents. These include high rates of income assistance, increasing homelessness and poverty, persistently high unemployment levels, substance misuse issues, etc. Once completed the Social Development Strategy will serve as a guiding document for government and service providers to strategically plan program delivery in order to improve the quality of life in Nanaimo helping us achieve our community's full social and economic potential. Major funding for the Social Development Strategy was received from the Vancouver Foundation and City of Nanaimo. For further information, please click here.


National Homelessness Initiative: Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative

As an organization dedicated to building community and increasing the capacity of individuals, the United Way was invited to serve of the steering committee of the Nanaimo Homelessness Initiative.

Phase I: 2000-2003
Nanaimo has participated in the Federal Homelessness Initiative through the Supporting Community Partnerships Initiative (SCPI) program. This program brought financial support for the development of projects that were identified as community priorities by Nanaimo's SCPI steering committee, the Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness Issues (NWGHI) in its plans: Reducing Homelessness: A Community Plan for Nanaimo, BC, 2001 and A 10 Year Strategy for Reducing Urban Aboriginal Homelessness in Nanaimo, BC.

Phase II: 2003-2006
In February, 2003, the Federal speech from the throne announced an extension to the National Homelessness Initiative and a new allocation of $405M to the program. Of this, Nanaimo has received $755,105 in SCPI, $392,612 Urban Aboriginal and $263,060 youth funding to continue to address the needs of the homelessness in Nanaimo. Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) in partnership with the NWGHI will continue to facilitate the implementation and delivery of this initiative. The Working Group has reaffirmed their commitment to the Salvation Army and the need for a new residential shelter and has committed $300,000 from this second allocation to the Salvation Army to replace funding lost in the last round.

In preparation for Phase II funding, the Working Group on Homelessness Issues has broadened the membership on the committee, has revised their Terms of Reference, has evaluated their past process, has revised the list of priority needs to assist the homeless and has updated their 2001 Plan: Reducing Homelessness: A Community Plan for Nanaimo, BC. This update included an amalgamation of both the Urban Aboriginal Strategy and the Community Plan into a single document: Reducing Homelessness: A Community Plan for Nanaimo, BC, 2003.

With the completion of the Plan update, the Working Group has invited the community to submit proposals that meet the priority needs identified:
1. Safe affordable housing: transitional, supportive and rental housing;
2. Emergency intervention: Emergency shelter beds, living room and outreach;
3. Bridging: Continuity of care across the community and amongst agencies;
4. Agency capacity, coordination and collaboration, community education;
5. Health services: Meeting health needs and new health services;
6. Individual capacity: Better nutrition, employment and life skill development.

Major funding through Supporting Community Partnerships Initiatives, Human Resources Development Canada.

For additional information, please visit the links below

National Homelessness Initiative

FoodLink Nanaimo

One of the ways in which the United Way helps to build community is to facilitate bringing together organizations to work collaboratively. One such collaboration is FoodLink Nanaimo. The goal of FoodLink Nanaimo is to organize through a community development process, an umbrella organization made up of representatives of Nanaimo's emergency food service providers and food security programs in order to build capacity within the food sector in order to better address hunger in Nanaimo.

Ensuring food security involves more than providing emergency food services - it requires efficient linkages, bridging and referral between a variety of service providers in order to foster education, empowerment and self-sufficiency. It is also important to provide volunteer opportunities for everyone in the community, including those who receive services to make their own contribution. Major funding through the Vancouver Foundation and the City of Nanaimo. FoodLink Nanaimo Report will be posted on to this website in March 2004.

Devolution Of Services To Children And Families:
The Experience of Non-Profit Organizations in Nanaimo, B. C.

In 2000, Malaspina University College applied for and was granted funds to conduct an in-depth year research project. The United Way was asked not only to support the project but to serve on the working group to move the project forward.

Sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, this study surveyed Nanaimo's non-profit agencies serving children and families about ways in which their increasing role as providers of government services affected their organizational practices, accountability and service delivery. It assessed the consequences of current contracting practices and examined the advantages, disadvantages and opportunities for agencies moving from a model that emphasizes voluntarism and citizen participation to one emphasizing professionalism, accountability, and efficiency. Please click here to see the final report.

Economic Development Group

In order to complete the "Circle of Prosperity" concept, the United Way was invited to serve on the Executive Committee of the Economic Development Group. United Way will bring a social perspective and provide a link between the social sector and business community.

The Economic Development Group (EDG) is a coalition of community and business leaders who are committed to building a prosperous future for Nanaimo. EDG provides leadership and a collective voice for economic development issues impacting Nanaimo. While the main focus is economic development, EDG wants Nanaimo to be known as a caring community that acknowledges and addresses social challenges and celebrates diversity. A community's social fabric influences its image and reputation. A caring community encourages tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness, and provides support for those in need. Parallel to, and concurrent with the development of this image and reputation plan, the Social Development Strategy Steering Committee has initiated a collaborative process to develop a "Social Development Plan" that will outline a social vision and community priorities for action. Rather than duplicate these efforts, the Nanaimo Now! Team will reference the Social Development Plan for appropriate strategies and actions. For more information on the Economic Development Group or Nanaimo Now! Strategy, please visit the websites at www.edgnanaimo.com and www.edgnanaimo.com/pdf/Nanaimo_Now_Plan_PDF_V.pdf


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