The West Island has a number of issues relating to poverty bubbling below the surface of what appears to be a well-off, idyllic suburban community – and the challenge now is to identify those problems and help those affected get help, the new director of the West Island Community Resource Centre said Monday.
“It’s a higher amount than you might think,” said Katie Hadley, who officially started as head of the West Island Community Resource Centre last week, replacing Rania Cotran, who left in the spring. “That’s one of the issues. Coming from theWestIsland, there’s this mentality that there are no problems relating to a low income. You still have to have the resources and you have to have the support for (sensitive populations).”
Some of the top issues Hadley has already been working on haven’t changed from previous directorial regimes – “public transit is a big issue and access to affordable housing remains a problem” – but she’s been starting her work from a fact-finding perspective.
“I’m still gathering information from various sources. West Island Community Shares has a great deal of expertise on some of the problems facing West Islanders in terms of services, so I’ve met with them and will work closely with them. That’s the best way that we can help some of the people who most need it,” she said.
TheConcordiaUniversitygrad comes to the CRC from the Sunrise Senior Living seniors’ residence inBeaconsfield, where she was co-ordinator of assisted living services
“I have worked with different populations in the community including children, teenagers, children with special needs, parents, senior citizens, and their care givers/family members. This diverse exposure has given me a unique understanding of the challenges and issues faced by these groups,” she said.
The West Island Community Resource Centre was at the centre of the Earl Jones fiasco, co-ordinating support and lobbying banks on behalf of seniors who had lost their life savings to the convicted fraudster.
For more information oin the West Island Community Resource Centre, call 514-6894-6404 or visit them either online at www.crcinfo.ca or drop by at 114 Donegani Ave. in Pointe Claire’s Valois Village.