Vital Signs is a community check-up, a way to measure the vitality of our neighbourhoods and to learn where we are strongest and where we need to improve. Our first Vital Signs report was completed in 2018, the Foundation is working on a current community check-up that will be released shortly.
Vital Signs tracks nine core indicators of a healthy community. They are:
9 Key Issues
1. Inclusive Community
Over 30 percent of Selkirk residents identify as Indigenous. A collective of 13 local churches have worked hard to bring refugee newcomers to our community from all over the world. And we are proud of our growing LGBTQ2S community. Selkirk is home to roughly 25 group homes in Selkirk that enable those with cognitive or physical impairments to live among neighbours.
Age-in-place housing is a looming need in the region that has an aging population. More than a decade ago, 18 per cent of the population in St. Clements was over 65. In 2018 that had grown to 24 per cent. More options for seniors, but also young families and single young people, who want to stay, work and contribute in their home community - need to be explored.
3. Learning, Kids & Youth
Vital Signs was made possible because youth, educators and childcare givers in our community joined the conversation very early, including the Onashiwin Aboriginal Head Start program. It gets pre-school aged kids ready for kindergarten and it also helps their families with free bussing for kids and parents, as well as things like cooking classes, budgeting workshops, resume-writing help and more.
4. Health & Wellness
There’s a shortage of community mental health services in the region, despite the fact the province’s mental health hospital is located here. Improvements are happening, but a Canadian Mental Health Association worker says ‘there’s still a ton of work to do’.
5. Income Gap
There’s been little progress on poverty in the region – food bank usage is up, with single parents and seniors accessing the service more and more. Affordable housing is in short supply and the region is in desperate need of a housing strategy.
The community has had a long history of supporting environmental issues from protecting the waterways, Lake Winnipeg and the Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve. In fact, the reserve was first created by orchid conservationists and provincial parks staff in partnership with Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, whose members have been using the area to collect medicinal plants for hundreds of years.
7. Older Adults & Aging
Older adults – represented by the Gordon Howard Centre – were central in guiding the development of Vital signs. Their years of working and living in the ever growing and changing community was very valuable.
8. Arts, Culture, Recreation & Tourism
The region has grown from a destination for cat fishing to centre of art, culture and creativity with cultural events like our winter festival Holiday Alley and the dozens of murals artists have installed on buildings in town. Recreation has always been a strong suit in the community and its strong volunteer pool and great facilities means it can host national and local sporting events.
9. Safety & Security
While vandalism, thefts and break-and-enters are fewer in the region than a big city, we are keenly aware of the growing effect that poverty and drug use have on crime, safety and security and mental health.
Read the full report, share it with others, and keep it handy. We know that if we work together towards common goals we can continue to be a smart and caring community that is Here for Good.
+ Download 2018 Vital Signs Report
Selkirk District Community Foundation is working on a current community check-up,...coming soon.
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