Busy Centre Has Bigger Plans 

Covid emergency centre in VAFCS gymnasium. Left to right: Brian, shelter manager, Kaila, program administrator, and David, Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA)

The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) located at 1607 East Hastings St. has provided essential services to the urban aboriginal community for over 50years. It is one of the main hubs for families, youth, adults and elders to access support for housing, employment, life skills and recreational programs.

“VAFCS strives to provide wrap-around services to allcommunity members,” says Kaila Wong, program administrator at VAFCS. “While we are open to everyone, we prioritize
Indigenous community members and their needs. We emphasize the philosophies and values of Aboriginal traditions to help our clients maintain their cultural ties.”

Housing and food support have been two of the priorities for the centre during COVID: The seven-person Urban Aboriginal Navigation Team (UANT) provides housing and support services for Indigenous people who are at risk of homelessness or are already experiencing it. UANT assists with emergency rent subsidies, food access, housing applications and tenant landlord relations.

Stranger Assaults and Being a Good Witness 

If you pay any attention to the Vancouver news then you’re probably aware that there have recently been some alarming incidents of stranger assault in the city. Some of these have been caught on video and have been shared widely.

Deputy Chief Howard Chow of the Vancouver Police Department reports that police are receiving on average four reports a day of people being assaulted by strangers. Many of these assaults are being carried out by “a new category of offender,” many with hundreds of police interactions on their records. Mental health is often a factor.

Constable Kimberly Albright, the Neighbourhood Police Officer for Hastings Sunrise, says these assaults are a high priority issue for the VPD. She emphasizes the importance of being a good witness. “Trust your guts. If something doesn’t feel right, then report it to the police. Better to have something reported to police than not, so they can determine if it’s relevant.”

Global News Interviews HSCPC’s Community Cleanup Volunteers 

The HSCPC recently got a visit from Global News, whose reporter wanted to know more about our graffiti paint-out program.

Our former staff member, Carmen MacLeod, and lead volunteer, Sampson Hsieh, were interviewed to talk about how we get rid of unwanted graffiti and restore walls, especially from local businesses. 

Every Wednesday and bi-weekly on Saturday, our community clean-up team of dedicated volunteers goes out to paint over and remove tags in the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood. 

You can read the full article and watch the video here: https://globalnews.ca/news/8749934/east-vancouver-volunteers-help-take-back-neighbourhood-rocked-with-graffiti/

Shredding Day 2022 

Mark your calendars! Our next Shredding Day will be happening on Saturday, May 7th from 10 am to 1 pm in the Sunrise Square Parking Lot (2500 Franklin Street). 

It’s a great opportunity for community members to dispose of personal documents to prevent identity theft and do something good for the environment. 

The suggested donation is $10 per box and all proceeds go to the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre to help keep our neighbourhood safe!

If you have any questions about the event, please contact us at 604-717-3584 or info@hscpc.com. 

ICBC March Distracted Driving Campaign 

This month, ICBC and police around the province are reminding drivers to leave their phones alone!  

Even short glances away from the road increases your risk of crashing. Leave your phone alone while driving.

 

 

Tips for Drivers:

  • Make sure you have everything you need ready before hitting the road. Reaching for objects on the floor, in the glove box, or the back seat takes your eyes off the road and could lead to a crash.
  • Avoid looking at or interacting with screens while driving, even if you’re using your phone hands-free.
  • If you find it difficult to take a break from your phone while driving, turn it to “do not disturb” mode and keep it out of reach and out of sight.
  • Even when stopped at a light or in heavy traffic, you’re still driving, and need to be aware of what’s going on around you. You’re less likely to see pedestrians and cyclists when you’re looking at your phone or in-dash screens.

To make the text wrap around the picture and appears to the right of the picture, simply click on the picture and click on the align left button

Tips for Pedestrians and Cyclists

  • Pedestrians: Pay attention to what’s happening around you, especially when approaching intersections. Remove your headphones and put away your cellphone so you can see, hear and respond to keep yourself safe.
  • Cyclists: Riding in traffic is demanding. Avoid distractions and never assume drivers see you. Don’t use headphones or electronic devices so you can see, hear and respond to the unexpected and keep yourself safe. 

You can find more information on the ICBC website

ICBC December CounterAttack Campaign 

ICBC and police are teaming up for the annual December CounterAttack campaign, urging drivers to be responsible and plan ahead for a safe ride home this holiday season.

The campaign kicks off this weekend and police will be looking for impaired drivers at roadchecks set up across the province throughout December.

More people may choose to attend holiday gatherings this year where public health orders allow, but one message remains as strict as ever: if you drink, don’t drive.

Lost & Found 

If you lose (or find!) something and seek help at the Hastings Sunrise CPC, we will likely refer you to the VPD Property Office at 2010 Glen Drive.

The Property Office receives and stores public property, including vehicles, evidence, safekeeping articles, or simply found items. When someone brings in a found item to the HSCPC, it is logged and secured. Within a few days Vancouver Police take it to Glen Drive for safekeeping until the owner claims it.

There, staff look for any reports about stolen or lost property. “We make every effort to phone the owner, or mail a letter if there is no phone number available,” says Justin Hull, manager of the VPDs Property and Forensic Storage Facility. If the owner doesn’t retrieve it within 90 days, its finder can claim it back. If the item contains personal information it gets recycled; otherwise, unclaimed items are sold at an annual auction. (See VPD social media accounts for auction details.)

Super Volunteer! 

If you started volunteering in one of the Hastings Sunrise CPC volunteer programs, there is a very good chance that you will meet Kajol Gounder sooner than later.

She came to the HSCPC in August 2020 and is now one of our most involved individuals: Kajol is a patrol team shift leader one evening a week, works the front office one afternoon a week and joins road safety shifts whenever she can. She also actively participates in CPC outreach events, such as Shredding Day, and just recently got hired as a member of our Sunrise Safety Team.

Kajol found her way to the CPC very early on in life as she and her sister participated in Community Cleanup events during high school. “I came back to the CPC last year in order to learn about law enforcement, get to know other volunteers and become more comfortable talking to people. I have found all of these things at the CPC,” Kajol explains.

Watch for Catalytic Converter Thieves! 

Your vehicle likely has a small treasure trove of precious metals hidden underneath it – and thieves armed with power saws and grinders are out to steal it.

Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system, meant to reduce pollutants. They contain metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium, whose value has risen sharply in recent years.

Thieves can slip under your vehicle, using a jack if necessary, and cut out the converter in less than two minutes. They can sell it to metal recyclers for up to several hundred dollars. The recyclers then extract the metal and resell it for a huge profit; as of mid-October of this year, rhodium was valued at US$14,000 an ounce!

ICBC Pedestrian Safety Campaign 

When drivers fail to yield, pedestrians pay the price. Busy intersections and shorter days mean that drivers need to be extra careful during fall and winter.

As the weather changes and daylight hours decrease, pedestrians become more vulnerable.

Nearly half (44 per cent) of all crashes with pedestrians happen between October and January. Even when drivers proceed with caution, it’s hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor.

In B.C., 79 per cent of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections. Whether it’s taking a break from your phone or yielding the right-of-way, we all need to do our part to keep pedestrians safe.

You can get your free pedestrian reflector at our office at 2620 East Hastings Street while supplies last!