The agency is involved in many ongoing projects and initiatives, working with many other agencies, both informally and through coalition groups and committees.
Below are a few examples of recent and ongoing joint projects and committees.
Community HIV/AIDS Committee
The Community HIV/AIDS Committee (CHAC, of which AIDS Vancouver is a member, is an alliance of organizations committed to maximize information sharing, collaboration, planning and action to improve the health status of populations infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Representing several health authorities, but networking primarily in the Vancouver area, the groups work in medical care, treatment, psychosocial support, advocacy, legal, income security, food security and housing issues.
The Community HIV/AIDS Committee (CHAC) meets monthly in Vancouver, with over two dozen groups from the Lower Mainland (as well as a few representing provincial wide service areas). By maximizing information sharing and networking, CHAC aims to:
- Foster inter-agency connections and cooperation
- Develop collaborative multi-sectoral approaches
- Strengthen the capacity of community responses to HIV/AIDS
- Recommend action to be taken by the committee, member agencies, HIV/AIDS service organizations, key decision makers and the overall community
- Groups or individuals with intersecting interests are welcome to attend. Contact AIDS Vancouver for information about the Community HIV/AIDS Committee.
Volunteer Initiatives for the Sharing of Information and Trainings (VISIT) is a Vancouver based collective of professional colleagues who provide Volunteer Program Management for the HIV/AIDS community. The collective provides an opportunity for professional development, dialogue and action that supports and enhances volunteer services and volunteer involvement within the respective organizations and local HIV/AIDS community. In addition, VISIT develops and delivers various training opportunities that enhance any volunteer experience.
Crystal Meth Project
The Gay Men’s Methamphetamine Working Group (GaMMa) was the original outreach project which ran from 2005 through 2007. The project was funded primarily by Health Canada through its Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund. The project emphasized both outreach and a needs assessment with the ultimate goal of being able to inform health care providers and community organizations as to how to better address crystal meth use among gay men via prevention, detox and treatment. The project was driven by commitments to harm reduction and ensuring a non-judgmental approach to drug use. Now called the Crystal Meth Project, it continues to provide peer counselling, facilitate support groups and produce harm reduction materials for outreach dissemination. These activities are coordinated and supported by Gayway.
Keeping the Door Open: Dialogues on Drug Use
Keeping the Door Open (KDO) is a community coalition which convenes public dialogues on a range of issues associated with problematic substance use. Through forums, dialogue sessions and advocacy, KDO has advanced public discussion and informed public policy about this complex issue. Through its initiatives and mobilization, the coalition contributed to the successful opening the first legal supervised injection site in North America. Insite, Vancouver’s safer injection site, opened in September 2003.
More information can be found at www.keepingthedooropen.com.
The Harvest Co-op
The Harvest Co-op recognizes that everyone has the right to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables and that a healthy diet is essential for persons living with H.I.V. The organizers, who are members of the HIV community and have worked in nutrition and HIV Health, are fully aware of the financial and logistical challenges of securing healthy, organic fruits and vegetables within the community. To alleviate that challenge, they have created the Harvest Co-op: A fresh fruit and vegetable cooperative where members are able to pool their resources and purchase in bulk. This dynamic project was developed at the Community Capacity Building Program which is a part of the Literacy Lives Project, an initiative of the Community Education Program, Lifelong Learning at Simon Fraser University. AIDS Vancouver is proud and grateful to be a community partner to the Harvest Coop and thankful for the opportunity to share in the bounty.
AIDS Vancouver works collaboratively in many ways, providing support and leadership to numerous other local ASO’s, through project management, policy development, administrative assistance and coalition partnerships. Are you interested in working with us? Get in touch using the contact info below.