Right at Home Housing Society contributed to Inner City Awareness Week named by the City of Edmonton from March 19-25. We joined forced as one of the eight organizations with Inner City Agencies Foundation (ICAF). ICAF includes: Operation Friendship Seniors Society, The Bissell Centre, E4C, Boyle Street Community Services, The United Way, the Edmonton People Need Shelter Society, and Boyle McCauley Health Centre. Together, these organizations ran our 17th annual roast beef dinner and our 22nd annual Mac & Cheese Luncheon.
Roast Beef Dinner Kicks off Inner City Awareness Week
Our 17th annual roast beef dinner took place on March 19th. Our efforts served over 1200 meals and 800 patrons at the start of Inner City Awareness Week. The Ramifications entertained for the third year in a row, and drew in a crowd. The roast beef dinner is free to anyone, but mainly serves residents within the inner city. Many of these residents are those who are facing issues concerning poverty. The dinner offers one hot meal that they don’t need to worry about, and creates an atmosphere of acceptance and safety.
Mac & Cheese Luncheon a Success
Our 22nd annual Mac & Cheese Luncheon was a success on March 23rd. The event reinforced the purpose of Inner City Awareness Week: bringing to the forefront issues that cannot be overlooked in Edmonton’s inner city. Mike Nickel spoke on behalf of Mayor Don Iveson. He highlighted the City’s intent to bring 10 000 people out of poverty over a 5 year period. Subsidized transit opportunities are in the works, further helping to mobilize and employ those wishing to rise above their circumstances. Nickel also noted that Alberta is facing a high rate of full time employees who are still below the poverty line. These are all issues Mayor Don Iveson is looking to change.
Arnold Asham of the Asham Stompers put on a brilliant performance of the red river jig. The dance form is inspired by Metis culture. He uses his dance lessons to bring hope and a sense of purpose to Aboriginal youth who suffer from low self-esteem. The Asham Stompers have competed in competitions all over the world. Furthermore, Arnold’s inspiration comes from his history as an Aboriginal child. He spoke about having shame and fear in his cultural upbringing. Arnold hopes to see children living in the inner city overcome obstacles and feel confident in their heritage through performing the jig.
The proceeds raised from ticket sales and donations at the Mac & Cheese Luncheon will be split among the organizations affiliated with ICAF. Additionally, these funds will go directly towards issues addressing poverty. Right at Home Housing Society will use the money towards our own affordable housing initiatives.