REACH STORIES

Below are a collection of stories documenting the transformation Edmonton is making in becoming a safer and more vibrant city for all. If you have a story you would like us to feature please get in touch!

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May 7, 2024

Local business building a buzz about food security

Food security is an increasingly widespread issue, but one local business is working to put affordable food on the table while building a sense of community between neighbours on Alberta Avenue.

With the support of a micro-grant from the REACH Neighbourhood Organizing Initiative, The Hive is working to grow affordable food in the city, while spreading education and beautifying public spaces.

April 18, 2024

REACH volunteers amplify community impact

There are many different groups that make the work of REACH possible, from staff to community partners, but one set of people are especially important: volunteers.

“Volunteers play a crucial role in supporting the work of REACH and its partners in the community,” says Kelly Holland, Community Engagement Manager at REACH Edmonton.

Nov 20, 2023

Fighting for Peace: REACH Hosts International Delegation

Creating safer cities is a lofty goal, and an international organization dedicated to that work was in Edmonton to learn from REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities and other local organizations. 

Sept. 25, 2023

Addressing reconciliation in your organization? Ask yourself these questions.

With National Truth and Reconciliation Day approaching Sept. 30, many organizations are asking themselves how they can contribute to the repairing of relations between settlers and Indigenous Peoples. 

Marlene Orr, Executive Director at Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA), took the time to chat with REACH about what sincere reconciliation might look like in the context of organizational actions.

Aug. 31, 2023

Looking at what’s possible: REACH attends violence-reduction symposium in South America

Urban centres around the world are often facing similar problems when it comes to safety and well-being, which is why Peace In Our Cities gathered in Colombia this summer to share ideas and experiences around reducing violence.

July 31, 2023

Alberta commits $4 million for first-in-Canada approach to combat human trafficking

Alberta is taking the lead on addressing human trafficking with the creation of a first-of-its-kind office to facilitate cross-sector collaboration to address one of Canada’s fastest growing crimes.

Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA)#NotInMyCity and REACH Edmonton are partnering with the Government of Alberta to fight human trafficking across the province.

June 1, 2023

Edmonton celebrates Indigenous History Month

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. During this time, Edmontonians are encouraged to take extra time and effort to learn about the cultures, traditions, and experiences of the traditional custodians of this land we now call home. 

May 12, 2023

REACH AGM to explore relationships and reconciliation in community

In the wake of unmarked graves, a papal apology and the creation of the National Day of Reconciliation, the issue of repairing relations has been increasingly on Canadians’ minds.

The century-spanning issue of colonization, and what reconciliation could look like, is complex, often leaving community members unsure of where they can start.

May 1, 2023

Week of Awareness shines a light on power of collaboration

Local agencies and service providers that help survivors of sexual exploitation are working together to bring awareness to their work in the city and across the province during the 2023 Sexual Exploitation Week of Awareness, May 15-19.

April 1, 2023

Mind the Gap: Frontline Workers are Creating Connections in a Time of Social Distancing

An agency networking event that was held last October has expanded to support year-round connections between community-serving agencies.

March 1, 2023

Don't Click! project aims to empower youth to address online extremism

As online extremism becomes an increasingly challenging issues for everyone in society, a youth-led project is working to give junior high students tools and strategies for addressing this complex issue.

Feb. 1, 2023

Demand for Crisis Diversion intensifies in winter weather

As temperatures plummet during the winter months, the risk to community members in crisis intensifies. During this time the demand for services like 24/7 Crisis Diversion drastically increases.

Oct. 27, 2022

RIRI Project looks back on 12 years in community

“Everything we do as human beings is in relationship to something,” said Lewis Cardinal, in his address to those gathered at Islamic Family on Oct. 4. 

The event celebrated and looked back on the 12 years that the REACH Immigrant and Refugee Initiative (RIRI) has operated in the Edmonton newcomer community. 

Oct. 17, 2022

Invite, ignite, inspire: PYEP wraps up its eighth year

In its eighth year, the Police and Youth Engagement Program wrapped up another successful year in late-August.

Over the two-week program in August of 2022 six youth coordinators planned the program which was implemented with the help of six volunteers. They worked together to deliver a program by and for racialized youth to 48 participants.

Sept. 19, 2022

Resource Connect 2022 brings community, agencies together

When it comes to accessing services around the city, it can be tough to know where to start.

Resource Connect aims to bring Edmontonians and service providers together in a space where both citizens and agencies can find each other in one place.

July 25, 2022

‘Our stories are sacred’: Survivors offer insights to Safer Way Out Advisory Circle

Safer Way Out is a project that aims to develop a coordinated community response that is driven by the needs of victims of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

June 30, 2022

Meet the Board: Jared Wesley

As an academic, and expert in polarization, Jared Wesley hopes to put his skills to good use on the REACH Board. connect with each other every day.

June 20, 2022

Meet the Board: Candace Cleveland

As the summer approaches, REACH Edmonton is welcoming new members to the REACH Board.

Candace Cleveland, a Senior Manager at Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, joined the REACH board at the June 9 Annual General Meeting.

May 26, 2022

Crisis Diversion worker honoured for going above and beyond call of duty

Crisis Diversion workers often go beyond the basic definition of their jobs.

Jarvis Eastman, Hope Mission, Rescue Van Ministry Worker, was recently honoured by EMS for these kinds of actions.

May 19, 2022

Sports program helps Afghan refugees get settled in Edmonton 

As refugees from Afghanistan arrive in Edmonton, play is helping families adjust to their new lives in Canada.

Every weekday, kids and parents gather to play games, get settled and begin their healing journeys.

May 3, 2022

Exhibit aims to explore issues around addiction

Substance abuse can cost people everything, including their lives, and a local traveling exhibit is hoping to bust the myths around who addictions affect.

April 26, 2022

SEEDworks offers a safe place to learn, build skills

Restoring hope and dreaming big after years of hard times can be challenging. Often what’s needed is just for someone to give you a chance.

And that’s what The Mustard Seed’s SeedWorks program aims to do.

April 21, 2022

211, Crisis Diversion offer 'a raft in rough seas'

When vulnerable people are facing a crisis, there is often a brief period of time before that crisis becomes an emergency, and that’s where 24/7 Crisis Diversion comes in.

 

April 7, 2022

They’re human too: Compassion is key in crisis diversion work

While many Edmontonians largely spent the past two years at home, people working with vulnerable community members have been filling in gaps and acting as essential extra eyes and ears on the street.

March 29, 2022

Safety Network Coordinator brings sustainability to victim supports

After one year in action, a newly-funded position is making an impact in the lives of vulnerable women trying to escape human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

March 21, 2022

Response Model aims to create connections to supports

When someone in Alberta experiences a hate incident, where can they find support? What can bystanders do to help?

These are some of the questions the Response Model to Hate Incidents in Alberta aims to answer.

March 9, 2022

Meet the Board: Erum Afsar

REACH Board Member Erum Afsar is a strong believer in the value of governance boards and the real difference they make in the community.

“I’ve been a long-time volunteer on various boards and committees,” says Erum. “I’m passionate about making communities safer for everyone, which fits with REACH's mandate and the work they do.”

March 1, 2022

Meet the Board: Shemine Gulamhusein

When Shemine Gulamain joined REACH Edmonton’s Board in 2021, she was excited to work with an organization with long-range goals.

Feb. 17, 2022

An invitation to come together: report explores collaboration between schools, newcomer-serving agencies

When the pandemic forced schools to move to online learning in 2020, newcomer families who were already facing barriers now faced a whole new set of challenges.

Feb. 8, 2022

Meet the Board: Sandra Huculak

After joining the Board in 2020, Sandra Huculak has deepened her understanding and appreciation of the work REACH does.

“I learned a lot about the breadth and scope of the organizations in the first year,” says Sandra. ”I found it inspiring to be immersed in some of the issues and challenges facing the community and see the role of REACH as a convener.”

Feb. 1, 2022

Brokers continue building bridges during pandemic pressures

Ethnocultural communities face many barriers and stresses at any time, but many of these challenges have intensified during the pandemic.

The Multicultural Health Brokers (MCHB) have been working to bridge these gaps since 1998, and continue to rise to the occasion in these challenging years.

Jan 27, 2022

Meet the Board: Lux

For Lux, serving on the Board for REACH Edmonton is all about giving back

Lux joined the board in 2021, with an interest in learning more about executive leadership and expanding their knowledge and connections in the non-profit and social serving sector.

Jan. 3, 2022

Cree language classes connect learners to culture, land and community

While the Edmonton Public Library and Canadian Native Friendship Centre have been partnering on Cree language classes for years, shifting the classes online during the pandemic has resulted in an explosion of interest in the program.

Dec. 15 , 2021

EMCN donation centre provides essentials, sense of belonging for newcomers

The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN) knew that many of its clients were relying on EERSS to get settled in their new lives in Canada, so they decided to fill that gap.

Dec. 9, 2021

New support team creates connections between vulnerable citizens, businesses

A new approach to providing an on-street presence in Business Improvement Areas (BIA) is being piloted that aims to address the relationship between vulnerable Edmontonians and struggling business-owners who share the same neighbourhood.

Nov. 30, 2021

At-home HIV testing aims to reduce barriers to care, community supports

I’m Ready To Know is a national project focused on implementing, scaling-up and evaluating low-barrier options for access to HIV self-testing. 

Nov. 23, 2021

Amplifying Community: exiting REACH Board chair reflects on six years of advocacy

After three years serving as the Chair of the REACH Board, Pilar Martinez, CEO of the Edmonton Public Library, ended her time on the board after the election of new members in June of this year.

Nov. 16, 2021

Community league shines a light on missing and murdered Indigenous women

For two weeks in October, the outdoor rink at the Parkdale Cromdale Community League was transformed into an art piece focused on the reality of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

Oct. 26, 2021

2021 Police and Youth Engagement Program builds skills and connections

Some things can only be learned through experience. In co-creating the 2021 Police and Youth Engagement Program (PYEP), six youth coordinators discovered this for themselves, learning valuable skills while connecting with local police.

Oct. 18, 2021

Youth-led program breaks down barriers between youth, police

A summer program designed by youth, and for youth, created a space for teens and young adults from ethnocultural communities to connect and correct misconceptions of each other.

Oct. 4, 2021

Community solutions work

Local communities, at the neighbourhood level, are essential to solving their own problems.

As societies move away from relying solely on policing and other enforcement approaches, it is increasingly important to explore community-driven solutions to social issues.

Sept. 27, 2021

‘These were just children’: Truth and Reconciliation Day with Bent Arrow

As Canadians prepare to celebrate the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society is focused on creating connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. 

Aug. 11, 2021

‘These services are saving lives’: Rainbow Refuge a lifeline for LGBTQ refugees

The refugee’s journey to a new life in Canada is often complicated, difficult and challenging in many ways. But LGBTQ refugees face a lot of additional, specific barriers to a new beginning in a new country.

 

July 22, 2021

Family violence prevention committee creates collaboration across community

The challenges faced by newcomers to Canada can be varied and complex. For 20 years, the Immigrant Family Violence Prevention Committee has been providing awareness, education and advocacy for service providers. 

July 14, 2021

Mapping tool connects kids to local programs

Finding the right supports for children can be a challenge; location, time and programming focus all act as important factors.

With funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), REACH created an interactive map detailing the wide range of child and youth programs available across the city, as a tool for service providers and families. 

June 9, 2021

OST Conference goes online ahead of second pandemic summer

This year’s focus is moving forward together in providing programming in the post-pandemic world.

June 8, 2021

Growing up Black in Alberta: 'Our story is totally different'

Many early Black settlers in Alberta arrived from the United States along with early European settlers, the narrative of being newly-arrived to the country doesn’t fit for many Black youth in Edmonton.

June 7, 2021

The struggles and silver linings of providing youth programs during a pandemic

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced fundamental shifts in how supportive programming is provided, many organizations found themselves faced with barriers they had never experienced in addition to intensified existing challenges.

May 10, 2021

2021 Sexual Exploitation Week of Awareness goes online

The Sexual Exploitation Working Group (SEWG) will kick the week off with a live-streamed proclamation event, with remarks by Edmonton City Councillor Scott McKeen and Alberta Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Leela Aheer.

May 5, 2021

Business intelligence: creating a culture of data-driven decision making

Data driven decision making is essential when working with complex social issues where the situation on the ground can change quickly.

April 26, 2021

Newcomer-serving organizations partner to connect families to essential technology

In the spring of 2020, when pandemic restrictions forced children and youth indoors and online, many families without access to computers or internet faced a real barrier.

April 19, 2021

Honouring Our Volunteers: Abel Paulos

In honour of National Volunteer Week, April 18-23, we asked some of our volunteers why they work with REACH, and what they’ve gained from serving the community.

April 19, 2021

Honouring Our Volunteers: Fathiya Abdillahi

In honour of National Volunteer Week, April 18-23, we asked some of our volunteers why they work with REACH, and what they’ve gained from serving the community.

April 19, 2021

Honouring Our Volunteers: Domina Lufuma

In honour of National Volunteer Week, April 18-23, we asked some of our volunteers why they work with REACH, and what they’ve gained from serving the community.

April 19, 2021

Honouring Our Volunteers: Kevin Laxamana

In honour of National Volunteer Week, April 18-23, we asked some of our volunteers why they work with REACH, and what they’ve gained from serving the community.

March 11, 2021

Family changes lives: OUTpost drop-in centre gives queer youth a place to call home

OUTpost, a drop-in centre for vulnerable LGBTQ2S+ youth created by The Community Health Empowerment & Wellness (C.H.E.W) Project, opened in late 2019 and has already made its mark on many young lives.

March 3, 2021

'Someone came along and loved me': Crisis Teams offer life-saving human connections

Roland’s positivity is irrepressible. He is able to meet clients where they are, with an immense humanity, no matter what kind of day they’re having.

Mar 2, 2021

Creating connections: Dedication to community runs in the family

Sean recalls seeing his father spending every minute he wasn’t on a call actively building relationships with the community, from the grocery store to the coffee shop, always deepening connections with the people of High Level.

Jan 26, 2021

Mind the Gap: Frontline Workers are Creating Connections in a Time of Social Distancing

As the global pandemic closes in on one year, safety measures like social distancing have fundamentally changed the way people connect with each other every day.

Dec. 11, 2020

Computer Drive Aims to Connect Families with Essential Tech Resources

REACH Edmonton is collaborating with the Electronic Recycling Association to connect families with the hardware they need to stay connected to the education system and other online supports.

Nov. 20, 2020

By the numbers: Evaluation data helps community build effective programming

Data collection may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the hands-on work that happens in community, but it plays an integral role in designing initiatives that impact the people they serve.

Sept. 14, 2020

Youth Navigators provide life-saving supports during Covid-19 by fighting isolation

As Covid-19 closed schools and workplaces in March, stresses on ethnocultural youth showed a marked increase as youth were isolated from their in-person community supports in order to prevent the spread.

June 25, 2020

See the Need, Fill the Need: Drag Family Fills Local Need for Food During COVID-19

When Covid-19 cost many Edmontonians their jobs, one family decided to do something to help. The Lovegood family has been stocking a food exchange in Paul Kane Park since April, which has seen thousands of items go to local residents struggling with food security. 

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CONTACT

Suite 901, Baker Centre
10025 - 106 St.
Edmonton, AB T5J 1G4

 

Phone: 780.498.1231
Fax: 780.498.1266
Email: info@reachedmonton.ca
Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

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REACH Edmonton is the proud recipient of Wellness Works Canada’s Mentor certification. This designation recognizes REACH as an employer of choice, taking a leading role in employee health and well-being.