KDCHC believes that health is a shared responsibility. Advisory groups involved with KDCHC are able to influence the things that make them healthy. Advisory groups are our backbone which represent the ways in which people come together in order to contribute to the community and address their concerns and problems. KDCHC’s advisory groups are volunteers with lived experience who meet and discuss and advise the health centre on issues that matter to them. The advisory group/grass root level approach has been a model by which KDCHC is able to listen to its priority populations, build the capacity of group members and the community.
KDCHC clients, volunteers and community members at large have been encouraged to support the establishment of the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre since its inception. One of the avenues to encourage clients and community members with lived experiences to actively participate in a wide range of issues that matter to them is “Advisory Groups”.
Though each advisory group has its own unique purpose and role, the general purposes of all the advisory groups are to:
- Provide advice to the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre to offer community based programs and services. Support KDCHC through participation in a wide range of issues, such as housing, homelessness, food security, income, employment, social support, mental health, and early childhood development, access to health and social services, cultural sensitive and appropriate service delivery.
- Serve as a bridge between KDCHC and its priority population.
- Provide a representative voice for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, new Canadians, seniors, low income families and individuals.
- Speaking with service providers (advocacy role in the community) on behalf of vulnerable communities and group.
- Mobilize community members on health related issues: bringing people together for collective action.
- Help advisory group members to reduce isolation through support given to each other.
- Help group member develop leadership skills.
Advisory groups are made of people in the community working together to improve the health of their community. The Centre’s are comprised of like-minded individuals finding solutions to issues that impact daily living.
Community Coalition On Immigrant and Refugee Concerns
Representatives of local immigrant and refugee-serving agencies, groups and community members raise awareness of the challenges faced by immigrants and refugees in our community and try to bring about positive change through community education and advocacy.