A Community's Guide to Homelessness (virtual workshop)

December 10 9:30 am to 1:30 pm

Amid a growing housing crisis, West Kootenay communities are faced with an increasing number of people who are without homes and may also struggle with mental illness, substance use or other issues. To help people address concerns that may arise, a group of local organizations is launching an educational series, as part of a broader anti-stigma effort entitled Respect and Connect: A better community for us all. 


On December 10, the public is invited to participate in A Community's Guide to Homelessnesscreated by Ryan Dowd, the executive director of a large homeless shelter in Chicago and author of the book The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness: An Empathy-Driven approach to Solving Problems, Preventing Conflict and Serving Everyone. The presentation is FREE of charge and will be available on-line from any location 


In this first offering of theducational series, Dowd explains how empathy enhances our ability to resolve or avoid conflict and gives people the tools to confidently and compassionately solve problem behavior for everyone’s benefit. He delves into the psychology of social interactions like reciprocity and building relationships and demonstrates their use through common scenarios. This captivating workshop will offer insight into the lives of people living without a home and provide specific tools to improve community interactions 


Samantha Murphy, Director of the Trail and District Public Library brought the idea to a number of community partners after participating in Dowd’s workshop herself a year ago. Ryan’s advice is so practical and helpful, it has helped us significantly reduce conflict at the library. I highly recommend it for anyone working with the public.”  


Nadine Tremblay, Executive Director of the Trail Arts Council, says “Our communities are full of caring people, but some may be feeling stressed or anxious by how our communities are changing. Respect and Connect: A better community for us all will provide people with the insight and tools to better communicate with unhoused people.”  


Diana Daghofer, a member of the Trail Community Action Team notes that, “Stigma - negative attitudes or beliefs about people because of who they are, what they do, or their circumstances in life - can be extremely dangerous. It prevents people from accessing vital services like work, housing, health care and even shopping for essentials. 


Community's Guide to Homelessness will be presented virtually from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Friday, December 10. To register, please go to https://selkirk.ca/respect-and-connect  


Respect and Connect: A better community for us all is brought to you by the Trail and District Public Library, Selkirk College, Trail Arts Council, Trail Community Action Team and Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy. 


This series of events will run monthly until the spring, with other learning opportunities to delve into the subjects of substance use, mental health and related issues. 

Town: Trail, BC
Venue: Zoom