The community of Harewood is located in the city of Nanaimo, situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The City and the community of Harewood are sited on lands that are within the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, who have occupied this area for thousands of years.
Did you know….
Our Harewood community neighbours have a much larger percentage of low income individuals compared to those living in the city of Nanaimo. 21.0% of Harewood residents are comprised of low-income individuals compared to 12.3% for residents of Nanaimo (Statistics Canada). The median income of the neighbourhood is also lower than the same indicator for the City at $18,818 (Harewood) versus $23,762 (Nanaimo) – To put that into a larger perspective, the individual median income for Victoria residents is $31,309.
Poverty is a real issue for many of our community members, and has long-term adverse effects on not just our children, but our community at large. Poverty and poor health are closed linked. Children need adequate nutrition to not just meet their physical developmental milestones, but also to fuel healthy mental, emotional, and spiritual development. A hungry kid is a kid that struggles to learn and keep up with his/her adequately-fed peers. Being poor increases household stress, hopelessness, anxiety, depression, shame, anger, and maladaptive coping behaviours such as substance abuse. Poverty contributes to crime, suicidality, lateral violence (bullying), and increased health-care costs. Research contends that the best way to support a child in need, is to support the child’s primary caregiver(s).
When any members of our society suffer, we all suffer.
As a means of offering our Harewood community members support to deal with such multifaceted issues, Island Integrated Counselling Society offers free walk-in crisis counselling services every Friday from 4 – 8 p.m. Click here for more information.