Provincial Successes – Dawson Creek Better at Home

The much anticipated “Ticket to Ride” bus tour program, organized through Dawson Creek Better at Home, kicked off this June to tremendous community response. The transit bus tours are sponsored by the City of Dawson Creek and BC Transit, who generously provide the use of the bus and the driver.

The goal of the program is for the seniors of Dawson Creek to get familiar with the transit system, all the transit stops throughout the city, and with local shops. “We try to have stops that reflect cultural, educational, social, and recreational opportunities that are accessible by bus.” said Arleene Thorpe, Dawson Creek Better at Home’s Volunteer Coordinator. “The whole idea of having these tours is so that the seniors feel a little bit more comfortable going on the bus themselves. They’re then more comfortable and at ease going to different places because they’ve stopped there on the bus tour before.”

There is no cost to hop on and ride. It is a program funded by donations, to give vulnerable and isolated seniors the chance to enjoy a day out. “It”s very humbling when I have seniors come up and thank us so much because they haven’t had a chance to get out and go and do things. It just warms your heart.”

There have been 7 bus tours offered since the inaugural ride, and approximately 116 seniors have taken advantage of the “Ticket to Ride” opportunity offered through Better at Home in Dawson Creek.

Breaking Down Barriers in First Nations Communities

We are all looking forward to Better at Home’s inaugural First Nations site in Squamish Nation-Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

The Better at Home program is available to all First Nations Elders (seniors) living in Tsleil-Waututh Nation (North Vancouver), and Squamish Nation sites including Squamish Valley (Brackendale, Cheekeye, Stawamus, Yeakwaupsum) and North and West Vancouver (Capilano, Eslh’7an, Seymour).

“Elders hold the knowledge of our ancient and recent past, written and unwritten, and most are happy to share their knowledge of the time before colonization as shared by their Elders, as well as the difficult times experienced in living memory such as being taken away from their families, language and culture,” said Community Developer Michelle Morning Star Doherty.

“It was inspiring to work through the community development process with Elders and Stakeholders, especially as the Better at Home approach supports a holistic process that reflects First Nation values. For the local community to be able to help Elders remain in their own homes through Better at Home services is wonderful for both Elders and the service delivery teams that will be working with them.”

Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Squamish Nation will aim to leverage other grant streams through Better at Home that will help to build the path between First Nations Elders and much needed home support services that recognize that Elders are indeed “Better at Home”.