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Engaging With Our Community: A Foundation of Genuine Collaboration

Genuine empowerment of those we serve is the foundation of our work. One of our guiding values reflects this: 

At the heart of our work, we listen, care, and empower our clients in order to assist them to find solutions to their challenges. 

This means that our community members, the experts of their own experiences, lead us in shaping, refining, and innovating our services and programs. 


Fostering Collaboration

A prime example of this collaboration is our Managed Alcohol Program (MAP), a peer-led and peer-run initiative. When Lina Meadows, MAP’s first supervisor, brought the initial group of participants together, she worked with them to create MAP’s code of conduct, goals, practices, data collection procedures, and more. Going forward, each participant was not only invested in their own success, but the success of the program as well. 

A group of five workers pose for a photo
The MAP team posing for a photo

 Our Interdisciplinary Model of Care was the result of extensive consultations we conducted with those we serve. Over several years, we engaged our community through discussions and surveys, asking them how our services could better reflect their needs and aspirations. We then crafted the Interdisciplinary model, ensuring that it met the needs expressed by our community. 

 

Always Improving

Our commitment to truly listening to those we serve goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to continuous improvement and innovation. Recently, we had some ideas about how we could refine and improve one of our programs. Before making any decisions, we actively surveyed people who use that program and based our decisions on what we were told. We wanted to ensure our actions were aligned with the needs of our community, and their perspective is invaluable in identifying any potential blind spots. 

 

Community Empowerment

A man poses in front of the homeless memorial in Edmonton
Doug Cooke, Manager of Community Engagement

Another way we gather perspectives is through the work of Doug Cooke, Manager of Community Engagement. He spends much of his time in the downtown core on foot, interacting face-to-face with our community members, our staff, local businesses, government agencies, and more. Over the years, he has established a foundation of trust, leading to many honest and valuable conversations with all our neighbours. This would not be possible without sustained, genuine face-to-face effort. 

 

Doug’s role allows for rapid responses to specific needs and questions – whatever the demographic, Doug probably knows someone on a first-name basis. His ability to engage on a personal level with community members, businesses, schools, nursing or social work students, and everyone in-between keeps us all connected and tuned to each other's needs. 

Doug’s work reflects our core values in action and brings our community closer, one conversation at a time. 

Our Work Is Listening

At Boyle Street, we stand by the belief that listening to and empowering our community is not just part of our work—it is our work. Through this unwavering commitment to collaboration, we continue to build a stronger, more responsive, and compassionate community together. 

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