Problem Solver Profiles

A Sampling of Problem Solver Profiles for Port Alberni

Organizations and Projects that are furthering the Solutions Economy, positive social development and building community.

1. Name of Organization: Healthy Harvest Farm

Owned/Operated by: The Port Alberni Canadian Mental Health Association

# of People Engaged: 53

Founded: 2012

The Problem: Unemployment of people with mental illness. Inadequate nutrition.

The Solution: Provide employment and skills development for people who access services of the Canadian Mental Health Association. This happens through running a vegetable farm and building community at the garden.

Accomplishments: Strong partnership with Hupacasath First Nation and with the Alberni Valley Gleaning Project. Provide food for 20 families and additional community members annually. Provided dedicated employment and skills training for 12 Canadian Mental Health Association Clubhouse members and 8 job training clients in 2017 in addition to the connection with over 30 community volunteers and 2 separate classes from the high school.

What is needed to upscale? Funding to allow for a consistent workforce. Further promotion, education, and uptake of public to buy locally and sustainably.

2. Name of Organization: Literacy Alberni

# of Employees: 5

Founded: 2004

Annual Revenues: $292,000

The Problem: Illiteracy.

Strategy: Provide English language classes, empower caregivers and parents around literacy tools, distribute books, provide technology at an affordable price.

What is Working: Sponsorships and partnerships with community organizations. Partnership with the Government of Canada through the Welcoming Communities Program of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training.

What is needed to upscale? Partnerships with local, regional, and First Nations governments.

3. Name of Organization: Alberni Valley Gleaning Project

 Owned/Operated by: Alberni Valley Transition Town Society

# of Participants: 100

Founded: 2012

The Problem: Hunger. Food waste. Wildlife attractants.

Strategy: Collect unwanted and surplus fruit and re-direct it to people and organizations that can use it.

Accomplishments: Gathered almost 40,000 pounds of fruit since project inception. Built community through the act of fruit picking.

What is needed to upscale? Full time staff to manage the project.

 4. Name of Organization: Port Alberni Friendship Centre

 # of Employees: 21

Founded: 1960s

The Problem: Cultural isolation and lack of services for aboriginal people off reserve.

Strategy: Provide services to urban aboriginals and the community at large; counseling, recreation, legal assistance, public health, social and cultural programing, and childcare.

What is needed to upscale? Sustainable long term funding. Full buy-in from local, regional, and First Nations governments.