Delta City Hall. (James Smith photo)

Delta City Hall. (James Smith photo)

Delta hosting info session on draft Social Action Plan

The city is seeking feedback on the proposed plan through a survey and public engagement website

The city wants to hear from Delta residents as it works to update its Social Action Plan.

On Tuesday, April 19, the city is hosting a free virtual public information session from 6-7 p.m. to will provide residents with an opportunity to learn more about Delta’s draft 2022-2027 Social Action Plan and allow them to share their thoughts about key social planning priorities for their community, according to a press release.

To attend the info session, register at eventbrite.ca/e/public-information-session-draft-social-plan-for-delta-tickets-295534189717.

As well, Through the city’s Let’s Talk Delta website, residents can inform work on the plan by completing a survey (available in both English and Punjabi), proposing ideas or actions to address particular challenges or gaps in service (and vote for ideas submitted by others), and submitting questions to be answered by staff.

The city is currently in Phase 2 of the Social Action Plan update process, and more than 350 people have provided feedback so far. A final draft of the plan is expected to be presented to council for approval sometime this summer.

First developed in 2018, Delta’s Social Action Plan identifies goals and actions to enhance social supports and strengthen the city’s social fabric. The plan was built off Delta’s Social Profile, which in 2017 provided an overview of the community and the system of social supports available for Delta residents.

Since 2020, the city has initiated consultations with more than 100 community partners, two surveys of youth and children-and-youth-focused service providers, interviewed key stakeholders, and conducted a comprehensive reviews of existing municipal plans, social services infrastructure, promising practices in supporting vulnerable populations, and demographic and other social trends affecting Delta with an eye towards updating the plan.

The purpose of that “Phase 1” public engagement/research processes was to better understand Delta’s assets in social development, systemic and emerging social issues in the community, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the city’s residents, according to a background document on the city’s public engagement website.

On Dec. 6, 2021, an updated draft 2022-2027 Social Action Plan was endorsed by council, launching “Phase 2” of the public engagement process. The goal of this phase is to engage residents and community partners and collect their feedback regarding the draft plan’s strategies and goals.

Seven strategic priorities identified in 2018 have been carried over and expanded upon in the new plan, leading to 28 goals to help fulfil those priorities.

The first strategic priority, “City of Delta – Leading the Change,” aims to improve access to services and community facilities; utilize an evidence-based approach to inform city council, community partners, funders and senior levels of government about emerging community needs and social planning priorities; and enhance Delta’s social planning capacities, both in terms of function and policy, and plan for a long-term commitment and lasting community impact.

Strategic priority number two, “Healthy Delta,” is broken down into three sub-priorities: community health and connections, mental health and substance use, and poverty and food insecurity.

Goals under community health and connections include improving walkability in residential areas and working to expand public transit options; increasing access to low-cost and free physical activities; enhancing community capacity to build a culture of health; and fostering community connections, place-making and a sense of belonging.

Objectives relating to mental health and substance use include improving community awareness about mental health and harm reduction services and programs available to Delta residents; improving access to mental health and harm reduction services to youth at risk; and supporting and enhancing community capacity to address the needs of those affected by mental health or substance use disorders.

SEE ALSO: Safe-supply pilot project findings promising, but advocates say more action is needed (March 26, 2022)

In terms of poverty and food insecurity, the plan calls for increasing awareness of and accessibility to a broad range of culturally-appropriate and nutritious emergency food resources; building on and enhancing a strong co-ordinated network of community partners that work collaboratively to raise awareness of food insecurity and improve food security in Delta; and improving the city’s inter-departmental co-ordination to address poverty and food insecurity and advancing a more sustainable, resilient and healthy food system.

The third strategic priority, “Safe and Resilient Delta,” entails mobilizing community capacity to address racism and discrimination; strengthening community resilience and emergency preparedness; and increasing safe mobility options for residents.

Goals under “Thriving Children and Youth” include improving accessibility, affordability and quality of childcare in Delta; increasing access to children’s programs and services that promote their healthy development; and improving the sense of community belonging for youth and improving their access to services and public places.

SEE ALSO: With daycare deals done, Liberals look to craft bill to enshrine child-care system (March 29, 2022)

“Engaged and Active Seniors” calls for improving connections for seniors and their sense of belonging; supporting seniors to age in place and live active lives; and enhancing community capacity to support vulnerable seniors.

The sixth strategic priority, “Housing and Caring for Delta,” includes working to increase affordable, supportive and transitional housing options in the city; improving access to services for unhoused community members experiencing or at risk of homelessness; and building on a culture of caring and raising community capacity to better understand the causes of homelessness.

SEE ALSO: Housing minister, municipal governments at odds over B.C. housing supply report (March 24, 2022)

Goals listed under “Inclusive and Accessible Delta” include building an inclusive community where differences are celebrated and diversity is valued; enhancing physical accessibility through the built environment and supporting social inclusion through the elimination of barriers for people with different abilities; and enhancing community capacity to address immigrant needs.

City staff have identified 170 specific actions based on these priorities and goals.

To read the full draft 2022-2027 Social Action Plan, as well as other key documents, and take part in the Phase 2 public engagement, visit letstalk.delta.ca/socialactionplan.

SEE ALSO: To retain immigrants, decision-makers must address systemic failures (March 26, 2022)



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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