The East Village Neighbourhood Association’s (EVNA) vision is to see an inclusive, thriving, and vibrant East Village where all are welcome.
We believe this means taking a holistic view on societal issues in a manner that encourages all members of society to participate in finding solutions. Our members have expressed their concerns about the recovery services the Drop-In Centre - at the request of the UCP government - is looking to implement. There is particular concern around the overdose prevention components of the plan. EVNA hears our neighbours and want to support them and ensure their voices are included, whether for or against such programs. The Community Information Sessions were a great start but all of us in the East Village need to hear directly from each level of our political leaders, the emergency response teams, and the other agencies part of and affected by this possible change.
The Drop-In Centre cannot be expected to carry the burden, or the solution themselves. There needs to be a broad, all-encompassing approach that includes everyone; from the government, the agencies, our Calgary communities, and individuals. Downtown Calgary, particularly the east end, hosts a disproportionate number of services and while we welcome all, we need to be realistic of one small community’s capacity and remember the need to provide local services to other communities. If such a program goes forward, the East Village residents require, and deserve no less than the full involvement and backing of all parties to ensure the continued, successful revitalization of this community while providing meaningful life-saving resources and housing security to our neighbours. This means, we explicitly ask that the City of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Police Services and the Government of Alberta provide the residents and businesses of East Village a comprehensive, detailed plan that highlights long-term funding to ensure the safety and security of all.
East Village is a community of juxtaposition; one of the oldest and at the same time, one of the newest Calgary communities. Our demographics cover any and all ages, nationalities, orientations, and income levels. What makes the East Village so special is this vibrancy of colour created by our residents, and we have no desire to change that. We are proud to call everyone who resides here our neighbour and EVNA will continue to do our part in creating a sense of belonging and ownership for all who live, work, and play in East Village. We ask that the provincial and city governments do the same.
Your EVNA Board