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In this episode, we learn about…

  • How Jenny and her brother got their start helping people in low-income housing and the challenges that they had to face
  • Out of 85 residents, not one person could tell Jenny about a man that passed away in the building she was managing
  • Jenny’s upbringing and what prepared her to do what she’s doing today
  • Jenny’s dad taught her that people are lonely and that elderly people need visitors. Now she is doing that through Wholeway House.
  • What it’s like working and living in Canada’s poorest postal code: The Vancouver Downtown Eastside
  • Hastings and Main
  • The perils of Check Day
  • The impact of creating community and ending isolation
  • Reconnect, Rebuild and Re-center.
  • “Coffee Mike”
  • I GET TO
  • How “I GET TO” got its start
  • How Wholeway House is helping to end the cycle of homelessness

QUOTES from Jenny (paraphrased)

  • I often use the word “chaos” when I describe the Vancouver Downtown Eastside. A lot of people describe it as out of control and it is out-of-control
  • To me, the most important part was sitting down and having a meal together
  • Everyone has something to contribute. They wanted to give. They didn’t just always want to have a handout. We start programs where they can get a hand up and contribute
  • I learned that it was really about small transformations and how could we impact people‘s lives?
  • “I get to do those things because I’m still alive.” ~ Ron Konkin
  • I start every morning with the practice of asking “what do I get to do today?”
  • People are getting the tools that they need through our programs and they are not falling back into homelessness
  • I did not realize how many seniors are facing homelessness
  • Imagine your grandparent living in the chaos of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside. We found out that seniors were being targeted on pension day outside the bank. So we got a van and now we take people to the bank and to be safer
  • When people don’t go outside at all we see the deterioration in their mental health. So we have various adult programs to address their health needs
  • Over 90% of our seniors that are homeless are first time homeless. It’s a growing problem
  • Every person has a story. People’s behavior comes from somewhere
  • No matter how much we grow our organization we want to keep the main thing the main thing and that’s loving people where they’re at.
  • We were built to serve, and we don’t use that, it can wear away at us.

GI Challenge

  • First Challenge: Ask yourself, “What do I get to do today and who do I get to impact?”
  • Second Challenge: Find something that you’re passionate about and volunteer

Get In Touch With Jenny

WEB – Wholeway House


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