Community health education and social services committee meeting

On Monday Sept. 12 Houston’s Community Health Education and Social Services committee, known as CHESS, held a meeting at the council chamber

On Monday Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. Houston’s Community Health Education and Social Services committee, known as CHESS, held a meeting at the council chambers to discuss and decide upon two projects for the committee to focus on.

The committee’s main concerns for Houston right now are food security and transportation. Until the B.C. transit system and the new grocery store in Houston are in place, the committee is aware of the need for some way to mitigate the stress of food security and transportation until that time. The success of the community garden was mentioned as a positive aid to food security at the meeting, and on the table right now is a suggestion to bring in a food box program as a temporary solution.

An article about the CHESS committee and Houston’s adoption of the Health and Wellness Charter was featured in PlanH, a resource for communities to build healthy communities.

Houston also received $5000 from the PlanH Healthy Communities Capacity Fund to finance a public consultation, organized by the District of Houston and Social Planning and Research Council of B.C., to identify the facets of health and wellness that the residents of Houston characterized as a priority.

In an interview with councillor Jonathan Van Barneveld, and chair member of the CHESS committee, he explained that the definition of the holistic vision that the Health and Wellness Charter began with is the recognition that health care isn’t just doctors and nurses. “It’s about health and wellness through the community and in quality of life,”explained Van Barneveld.

“One of the key things at the CHESS committee is that [by] having partners at the table [it] helps build connections between those partners. Because quite often, so and so organization are doing the same thing down the street, [and] it’s about realizing what everyone does and reaching out,” commented Van Barneveld.

For those interested in reaching out to CHESS to inform the committee of any projects or organizations that are helping ease the food security and transportation issues within Houston, contact the District of Houston at 250-845-2238 and they will direct you through the proper channels.