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What does it mean to belong?

Photo: Victoria Fenner

What does it mean to belong? That's a question that the Community Foundations of Canada has been asking over the past three years.

Community foundations are one of the fastest growing ways to help people donate money to their communities. Instead of each person having to figure out what the community needs are, and where they can direct their donations, they can go to their local community foundation to help them.

There are 191 community foundations in Canada, ranging from large ones in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, to very small ones in Haida Gwaii and Flin Flon

Community Foundations of Canada is the national network of these individual organizations. The national umbrella organization also actively researches conditions in our communities on a national scale.

One of their ongoing major research projects is the annual Vital Signs report. The 2017 report was released last week. This year's report card isn't encouraging. What it showed is that our communities aren't doing enough to help people feel like they belong. Rising housing costs, lack of affordable housing, economic inequality and lack of faith in our public institutions are some of the factors that affect people's sense of belonging.

Victoria Fenner, rabble radio's executive producer, spoke to Lee Rose, Director of Community Knowledge and National Vital Signs Lead; and Juniper Glass, Research Lead for National Vital Signs.

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