Nanaimo Cares started because two Nanaimo citizens, Kassandra Hamilton and Chris Baitz, were concerned about people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo. They met at a Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition meeting that was being hosted virtually, and decided to discuss ideas around how they could help as individuals and spread the word on how others could help as well. Through various discussions and involvement from community members, two goals emerged – running neighbourhood discussions on how to spread kindness in the community towards those experiencing homelessness, and providing learning opportunities for others to learn more about the current situation in Nanaimo. They called the meetings Nanaimo CARES, because they want to start to reverse the stigma against people living on the streets. Thanks to the Nanaimo Foundation, these meetings were run in June with 3 smaller neighbourhood meetings and one larger meeting including various community partners and representation from city council. A report will be generated and shared shortly with the ideas that were brainstormed in these meetings, as well as a resource package for members to share with their social networks.

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