Staff led art groups take place at each of Pacifica’s 5 supported housing sites. The informal groups provide an opportunity for positive social interactions between tenants who share stories and art techniques with one another. Artistic abilities range from beginner to accomplished artist and all are welcome.
Artwork done by Pacifica Housing tenants and clients is showcased at the annual Pacifica Housing Art Show.
Art supplies are always needed and very much appreciated. Please contact Laurie Chesworth at 250-385-2131 ext 120 or at lchesworth (at) pacificahousing.ca
The community garden initiative is currently operating at six Pacifica Housing complexes. Resident gardeners work with a coordinator and are involved in all aspects of gardening from constructing raised beds through to planting, weeding and sowing.
The community garden program aims to help tenants live healthier, more stable lives and build a sense of community. A Garden Coordinator works closely with resident gardeners and facilitates a number of workshops ranging from soil preparation, composting tips and techniques and harvesting and preserving.
Virtues Youth Group (Virtues) is a free, on site, weekly drop-in program, based on the internationally renowned Virtues Program™. The program is attended by approximately 100 children aged 4-14 living in five of Pacifica Housing’s subsidized family housing complexes located in Greater Victoria.
Each year, 52 virtues are featured as fundamental principles of living harmoniously such as cooperation, respect, and honesty. Youth explore and learn about the highlighted virtues in group sessions through educational workshops, cooking sessions, creative play, arts and crafts, physical and sport activity, celebration of holidays and events, and trips into the community.
Each week Virtues facilitators present a virtue that is incorporated into the day’s curriculum. Over the course of the session, youth work together to explore and understand the featured virtue through discussion, play and activities. During group sessions, children are guided by facilitators, volunteers and peers to practice socially appropriate behavior that builds self-esteem and strengthens healthy family relationships and friendships.
Virtues also collaborates with local chefs and gardening professionals to teach the children about food sustainability, the interdependency of our environment and the food we eat, and food preparation and cooking skills through a series of micro gardening and cooking workshops. Virtues also hosts an annual day trip for youth to attend Camp Thunderbird where children engage in team building and leaderships activities such as canoeing, archery and kayaking.
The children involved in Virtues experience a strengthened sense of belonging, increased confidence and self esteem and learn to develop healthy relationships. They take pride in the Virtues Youth Group and become ambassadors of the virtues in their complexes, community and schools.
As a result, the community benefits by having responsible, confident and compassionate youth who are engaged in, and care about, their social and natural environments.
The goals and objectives of the program are:
The programs are being run after school at the following complexes:
Pacifica Housing’s Peer Support Work Program fosters a sense of pride in home and surroundings, encourages social interaction, and develops and strengthens life skills. Interested participants speak with a Community Support Worker or the Program Coordinator about their work skills, availability and needs regarding health and safety issues associated with the work. The only requirement for joining the program is a willingness to work.
Individuals living in Pacifica’s supported housing complexes or who are in regular contact with Housing Services staff are responsible for a number of cleaning and maintenance duties performed at their location of residence or at another Pacifica complex. Remuneration is food vouchers for local grocers.
There are currently forty participants and the program continues to grow. All of the participants were at one time either homeless or at risk of homelessness and face multiple barriers to accessing housing in the private market.