Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Core and Why it Matters

Mahatma Ghandi said that poverty is the worst form of violence.  It goes beyond the dollars and cents and attacks the very soul and brings into question our humanity to one another.  So "fixing" this is a matter of equity and social justice and at the very heart of it economic justice.  Maybe that's why Hamilton Urban Core was started 17 years ago.  Maybe not.  But here's what I know for sure.  Poverty is one of biggest health risks we face.  Some of the highest rates of poverty in this province are found in the communities and neighbourhoods right here in Hamilton's inner city.  Some of these neighbourhoods have health outcomes that are the same or even worse than those experienced by people in developing nations.  Some are struggling with the simple things that others take for granted - good health, three meals a day and somewhere to call home.  Every day another difficult choice - buy food or pay the rent, pay for  meds or food, can't do both, not enough money.  No one wants to believe the reports about poor health in the inner city, no matter how many times it is said.  That's why Hamilton Urban Core is so important.   A whole person approach to health.  Reaching out to the most marginalized.  Addressing the social determinants.  An unwavering commitment to equity.  And always quality service.  That's why it is important to share the stories - talk about the victories, share the challenges, figure out what we can do to make a difference, contibute to change.  Stay tuned!