Social Justice Drop in Club

The Social Justice Group, known as the Community Action Network (CAN) seeks to foster the empowerment of people living in poverty and their allies, who wish to have their voices heard, through collective organizing and action. Participants meet to discuss current events & social justice issues and to work together to create positive change within the community. This club is geared to lower income community members, but allies are also welcome.  
 
The Community Action Network meets at the Table on Wednesday mornings from 9:30-11:30.  Meetings at this time focus on the issue of housing, a continuation of the Housing Outreach Campaign that CAN has been working on since January 2016. These meeting include a free healthy breakfast or lunch. The group meets at least twice a month, but does not meet every week.  Since location and times may vary due to activities and events the group is participating in, please check the Table calendar of events to find out which weeks the group is meeting.
 

If you are interested in more information about, or in  joining the Lanark County CAN meetings, or need transportation help to attend please contact Beth at 613-267-6428 x4.

The Table CFC - Social Justice

Social Justice Initiatives

When the free music ends in the park this Saturday at the Stewart Park Festival why not join us at The Table for a night of free entertainment at the Open Mic? Come share your talents and/or take in the talents of your fellow neighbours from 6:30 - 10:30. Free tea and coffee and snacks available. Everyone is welcome!

We are turning up the heat for our July edition of Dinner and a Movie and screening the film How to Start a Revolution. Dinner runs from 4:30 - 6:00 and the movie will begin at 6:30 with a lively discussion to follow. Tea and coffee are available and free! Come on out and get inspired by this fantastic film!

How to Start a Revolution is the remarkable untold story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp, the world's leading expert on non-violent revolution. This film (from first time director Ruaridh Arrow) reveals how Gene's work has given a new generation of revolutionary leaders the weapons needed to overthrow dictators. It shows how his 198 steps to non-violent regime change have inspired uprisings from Serbia to Ukraine and from Egypt to Syria and how his work has spread across the globe in an unstoppable wave of profound democratic change. How To Start A Revolution is the story of the power of people to change their world, the modern revolution and the man behind it all.

To see the trailer for the film follow the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVqgde1We8E

 

It's a first for The Table - this is not our typical documentary for Dinner and a Movie night- a feature film! Come on out on Wednesday June 10th for a screening of the film PRIDE. PRIDE is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It's the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers' families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all. Dinner runs from 4:30 to 6:00 and the movie begins at 6:30 followed by a lively discussion with local community members. Watch the trailer here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsFY0wHpR5o

Come to The Table on Saturday April 11th for another Open Mic session! Doors open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7:00. Everyone welcome, all forms of talent are appreciated and everything is FREE! Tea, coffee and snacks available. Come to perform and/or come to enjoy the show.

 
What kinds of food do you offer to a person experiencing homelessness, couch surfing, or otherwise living without the means to prepare or keep their food refrigerated? This is a question the staff at The Table Community Food Centre have to grapple with on a regular basis. While equitable access to healthy food is their focus, and is what typically gets people to the Centre, it is rarely the only issue community members are contending with.

When Lanark County Social Housing announced a one-time grant opportunity under their Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative the Table Community Food Centre jumped at the chance to apply for funds to work toward addressing a serious social problem in our community, housing. The staff at The Table is thrilled to announce that the County has approved our request for $28,000, over two years for our Advocacy Program to work on housing issues.

Why is a community food centre addressing housing issues? The Table recognizes that participants accessing the Centre are often coping with a variety of issues over and above the need for food. While their main focus is firmly rooted in connecting people to healthy food they are also committed to assisting low income participants with other issues resulting from or exacerbated by poverty. Over the past year The Table’s Advocacy Office was open 162 days and saw 343 visits by 134 distinct community members. The number one issue people sought assistance with was housing; housing searches, homelessness, mold issues and repairs, inability to pay utilities/rent, hoarding, landlord disputes and more. 

The Table will use this grant to get creative about how they work with low income community members on issues that are known to have a high impact on community members’ ability to retain housing: addiction/harm reduction, mental health, employment opportunities, education and skill development, domestic violence, budgeting, nutrition, and more. Over the next two years The Table’s Advocacy Program will offer workshops, training and information sessions and individual support to interested low income community members. Training sessions will include workshops on tenant and landlord rights for both tenants and landlords.

One of the unique elements of the project will be developed and delivered in partnership with the Lanark County Community Justice Program. The two groups will collaborate to train peer advocates in the restorative justice model. Once trained, the advocates will apply their new skills to working with landlords and low income renters to find mutually agreeable solutions, reducing the use of the formal Landlord Tenant Board process and preventing evictions.

The Table’s Advocacy Office offers resources, support and referrals to community members on wide array of issues ranging from help replacing lost identification, filling out forms, accompanying people to appointments, assisting people in their housing search and more. The office is staffed by trained peer advocates who have their own experiences of living on low incomes and navigating social services. Anyone in need of assistance with an issue who is unsure where to go or what to do, should consider reaching out to the advocates.

A version of this post was published in the Perth Courier on March 12th.

 

 

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