Social inclusion is based on notions of belonging, acceptance and recognition of all individuals and groups in society. It is about recognizing and valuing diversity; it is about engendering feelings of belonging by increasing social equality and the participation of diverse and disadvantaged populations.
The Coalition is a strong advocate of social inclusion. We believe that only be working together can we end homelessness in Greater Victoria. To that end we have embarked on a number of initiatives to ensure that those experiencing homelessness are part of our Coalition. Those with experience of homelessness created our Street Survival Guide. We have consulted extensively in our research and planning initiatives and we have also created a Social Inclusion Advisory Committee to help guide our activities. Our most recent effort is the creation of a speakers bureau to help tell the many stories about the pathways into homelessness.
That is what Social Inclusion means to us. But what does it mean to those whose circumstances have left them marginalised for so long? What does social inclusion mean to a group that has been socially excluded?
We asked our Social Inclusion Advisory Committee (a group of individuals who have or are experiencing homelessness) what social inclusion (and exclusion) means to them.
Here was their response: