Feature Foto: LEAC member at a SIC Society meeting in Lkwungen Territory with other Tent City residents still struggling for home, their slogan: Homes Not Jails, Disability activist’s are saying “Apartments Not Group Homes” and Housed Community Mobilizations are asking Support Coops, Build Affordable Housing and Anti Poverty Activist’s and Homeless Allies are asking Build New Social Housing Starts and Support Tent Cities and Micro House VILLAGES! Go to intentcity.ca web site for more information on them as well as THAW Advocacy WAtch on VIMEO.
This is a letter that LEAC members sent out this past month and extend it to general public now.
It’s Kym on behalf of the national Lived Experience Advisory Council (LEAC). Thank you so much for coming to the Ally/Activist Dialogue session at the CAEH conference in London as well as to those who came in Montreal. We apologise this took so long, thanks for your patience. Our resources are thin as is our energy as we struggle within this homeless crisis with the added tragedy of the fentanyl crisis.
Local LEAC Chapters and Other Lived Experience Groups
While in London LEAC experienced and learned a great deal. We made tough decisions and are continuing to move forward. We heard requests from LEOH (lived experience of homelessness) who were interested in organizing LEAC chapters in their home communities. Other LEOH already active in other working Lived Experience Groups also expressed interest in networking with LEAC to help build and mobilise LEOH across First Nations Territories within Colonised Canada.
If you are starting a chapter or if you would like to connect your current group with LEAC, please let us know. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
Many individuals asked how to join LEAC National: after much discussion, we encourage people in their cities to bring forward who they may want to be a part of LEAC National. Each city and its diverse community of people with Lived Experience of Homelessness (LEOH) and their groups and affiliations can decide who they want to bring forward to represent their areas. Democracy as led by LEOH folks supported by allies. What do you think? If you are an individual not affiliated with any existing LEOH or PWLE groups and want to join LEAC, please do contact us.. All have a voice and we want to hear yours.
We want to help connect local chapters. Our vision is to connect Lived Experience of Homeless people to each other to ensure that our combined voices have the greatest impact possible at all levels of community including government.
LEAC Chapter Characteristics
If you would like to start an official LEAC chapter, we ask that you keep in mind the following guidelines:
A few key points:
– Chapters need to be inclusive of people with diverse experiences and identities, including people who have been criminalized, people with disabilities, drug users, and people whose homelessness has been “hidden”,
– Chapters may want to get support from allies and activists they choose to work with. However, we need to make sure that the leadership is always people with lived experience and it is not the social services sector creating local LEAC chapters.
Governance and Code of Conduct
We are in the process of applying for funding to write up Governance Guide and Code of Conduct. These documents will be based on the capacity building work, the discussions we
had at CAEH, Principles as well as accessing other progressive groups’, union work and building on it thru LEOH experience.
The basic governance pieces are:
-Power should be shared in the group, with all members taking equal roles in decision-making and carrying out the work.
– A transparent process for decision-making that all group members agree to and build upon,
– Work takes place within an anti-oppression framework including consensus. We encourage each new chapter to do the traditional Anti-Oppression 101 and Consensus Building training. It is a critical bonding experience for developing community..
The basic code of conduct pieces are:
– Be respectful, be patient, be honest, and remember love.
– Deal with conflicts directly and as soon as possible.
– If you need help, get it right away. There is no right or wrong, there is only misunderstanding.
As soon as these documents are finalized, we will send to you and they hope to be posted on Homeless Hub for all to use and share.
Over twenty years or more, neoconservatives and neoliberals have cut outreach services, healthcare, and other services such as women’s centres. This has left communities in crisis and, conveniently, the police are the only boots on the ground. All Canadians civil liberties are at risk. This is by design and many have been warning us for years.
If you have questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to connect with individual LEAC members by our email@example.com email or phone us.
We want to say as well that we don’t have all the answers. Working together is not always easy. We have learned a lot in facing our own challenges in coming together across different perspectives and experiences. We would like to connect with others doing this work across Canada.
In solidarity, Kim A. Hines LEAC National
LEAC National Members You Can Reach At:
Here we are listed from West to East:
Kym A. Hines, 778-265-0187, Traditional Territory of the L’kwungen WSANEC (Victoria, BC)
Phoenix Winter, Traditional Territories of the Musqueam, the Squamish and the Tseil-Waututh (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Suzi Gursoy, 226-444-0869, Traditional Territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee (Waterloo, Ontario)
Janice Arsenault, 647-606-3199, Traditional Territories of the Mississauga, Seneca, Haudenosaunee, Neutral and Huron-Wendat (Toronto, Ontario)
Terrie Meehan, 613-894-4325, Traditional Territories of the Algonquin (Ottawa, Ontario)
Leigh Bursey, Traditional Territories of the Haudenosaunee (Brockville, Ontario)
Allies we are actively working with:
Emily Paradis, firstname.lastname@example.org Mississauga, Seneca, Haudenosaunee, Neutral and Huron-Wendat (Toronto, Ontario)
Lynn Macaulay, Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee (Waterloo, Ontario)
Alison Kooistra, email@example.com, Mississauga, Seneca, Haudenosaunee, Neutral and Huron-Wendat, Toronto, Ontario
Effie Vlachoyannacos, firstname.lastname@example.org , 416 944-2627 x241 . Mississauga, Seneca, Haudenosaunee, Neutral and Huron-Wendat Toronto, Ontario
Shelley Yeo, email@example.com , Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee (London, Ontario)
Trudy Norman PhD, 250-884-0567, L’kwungen WSANEC (Victoria, BC) Bernie Pauly, firstname.lastname@example.org , L’kwungen WSANEC (Victoria, BC)
LEAC Social Media Networks
Find us on Homeless Hub COH:
Suzi Gursoy @SuziGrusoy
THAW Victoria @kymhothead
(with updates and photo’s for this blog) Lived Experience of Homelessness Network: LEOHN: In order to be a member you need to be invited by a member. Its an “invite only” for LEOH and it is a way for us to talk across Canada just with each other, we are growing and already at 85 members, please email me if you are LEOH and want to be invited, we welcome diversity and discusion amongst our community, every other oppressed group in a colonial society gets to meet alone with out others present, women, people of colour, but, not us who have lived on streets! This is so far our ONE spot to do so.
LEAC, Lived Experience of Homelessness (this site is in transition as we had four members leave LEAC while we were doing much needed and welcomed capacity building in London, this helped us all get clear on the diversity of needs within our LEAC and, four chose to leave in order to follow their work: five stayed in order to follow our work, we #UniteTheFight and move forward in bringing ever more LEOH people and their needs for resources to the table of government’s across Canada! We recognize that we all have a place in production, thank you for your patience and understanding as we transition and, see some of you in Winnipeg for CAEH2017, this years theme is First Nations, I am looking forward to being in my home town, North End! )
photo of LEAC member Phoenix on far right from DTES who will be presenting with Emily Paradis at CAEH2017! Woop Woop! In foto with her is her DTES colleague Priscillia and two LEOH from the film and album Low Down Tracks, Wendel Cormier on far left, and beside him Bruce Bathgate.