The 900-block of Pandora Avenue is both a gathering place for many of Victoria’s street involved people and one of the most controversial areas within the City. Located directly across from “Our Place”, the 900-block has been the subject of fierce debate on how to address homelessness, health and drug use in Victoria.
The City of Victoria has made several moves to clear the grassy boulevard that stretches down the middle of the block. In 2009, the City issued a $250 000 call for proposals to “beautify” Pandora Green, with the explicit objective of discouraging loitering. The City also passed a bylaw amendment in 2010 to render “sitting, kneeling or laying” on Pandora Green illegal from 7:00 pm until 7:00 am. On March 18th, the City announced that it would spend $510, 000 on giving Pandora Green a “facelift.”
VCAP decided to respond to the City’s plans by speaking to the people at the heart of the issue. The “Peoples’ Plan for Pandora” is a grassroots research project that is based on an alternative approach to addressing poverty. Our approach puts the needs of the most marginalized and vulnerable residents at the centre of the decision-making processes that hold profound implications for their lives.
The “Peoples’ Plan” is a compilation of the visions, insights and ideas of the street-involved people who spend days, evenings and nights on Pandora’s 900-block.
During two community food servings on Pan-dora in the fall and early winter of 2010, we conducted one-on-one and group semi-structured interviews with 74 individuals. In total, we spoke with 99 individuals. An additional focus group was held with 25 individuals. The research reports were presented back to the community at a Food Not Bombs serving in March, 2011.
To read the research report: Peoples Plan Survey Results Report
To read the final “Peoples’ Plan”: Peoples Plan for Pandora
Press Release (March 18, 2011): VCAP Pandora Paving Press Release March 18 2011
To see a great in-depth film courtesy of B Channel: http://bchannelnews.tv/?p=5859