Kitsilano Neighbourhood House(KNH) contracted Finding Home to build capacity within their staff through proving our Community Engagement and Asset Mapping training with the goal to deliver seniors and elders asset mapping workshops throughout the West Side of Vancouver and produce a resource guide. By engaging over 100 seniors and elders from diverse backgrounds, including Musqueam Elders and Newcomer seniors, this project produced the West Side Seniors & Elders Resource Guide. The launch of the guide brought together seniors and elders, seniors service providers, the health sector, library staff and the City of Vancouver representatives. Some of the projects highlights include:
- Musqueam Elders Invite Newcomers
During the Finding Home asset-mapping workshop with Musqueam Elders, Larry Grant explained, “If you don’t know your language, you can’t know your culture and if you don’t know your culture, you can’t know yourself. If you don’t know yourself you can’t ever find a sense of home.” For Larry, knowing your language is key to finding home. During the workshop, the elders shared one of their challenges in finding and keeping a sense of home is that there are so many new waves of immigrants and sometimes newcomers don’t understand Musqueam history, contemporary politics and culture. This can lead to misunderstandings. They discussed how to solve this problem and decided they would like to extend an invitation to newcomers to attend their Musqueam 101 class on Wednesday evenings.
- Home Is Where There Is Music
We gave a seniors Finding Home asset mapping workshop to over 30 Spanish speaking seniors at South Granville Seniors Centre. When talking about what home means to them, they all agreed “there is no home without music.” As they shared stories about how Vancouver is home to them now. Many seniors shared that they had not once been inside a Canadian home since arriving in Canada. Most had been in Canada between 2 weeks and 6 years. I then extended the Musqueam Elders’ invitation to their Musqueam 101 course . They were thrilled. One participant stood up, took the microphone and officially accepted the invitation on behalf of their group. She then extended an invitation to Musqueam Elders to come dance with them at South Granville Seniors Centre.
- Senior Leads Scooter Tours in Vancouver
One senior who had been using a scooter for several years expressed her dream to teach seniors how to use their scooters and take them on her favourite scooter routes of Vancouver. She explained that many seniors have scooters but don’t use them because they are afraid of getting hurt. All she needed was a gym to give the scooter lessons in and help to advertise the lessons to seniors. Her vision did not stop there. She explained that once you know how to use them, it can take a while to figure out the best scooter routes of Vancouver. During the launch of the guide we announced her innovative idea for a project and asked for help to secure funding for her project. Since then, funds have been identified and she is putting her dream into action.
Asset Mapping is not only about producing a useful resource guide, it provides an opportunity to build relationships between diverse residents, discover their gifts and find ways for meaningful contributions to make our neighbourhoods home to all.
To download the Seniors and Elders Resource Guide Click Here