Thursday, May 13, 2021
May 13, 2021

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‘Equity, inclusion’ key in new Share mission statement

Vancouver-based homeless services agency concludes re-evaluation effort

By , Columbian sports staff
Published:

Share Vancouver’s new mission is to include everyone.

That’s made clear in the nonprofit’s new mission statement announced Tuesday.

“It was important that we made a strong statement about equity and inclusion,” said Share board director Matthew Lennick in a news release. “That was a key piece we talked about all the way through and heard in every forum where we had the discussion.”

The new mission statement is the culmination of work that began in 2019. The pandemic slowed down any rush to have it finished in 2020.

“With so many immediate changes needed for staffing and daily program operations, it was put on the back burner for a while,” Share’s Community Relations Director Jessica Lightheart said. “But Matthew Lennick really led the way to restart the process.”

The committee sought input — connecting virtually — from dozens of stakeholders, including clients, staff, volunteers and community members.

And it starts with “Share believes every person counts.”

“Together we pursue a stronger community by building relationships, advocating for equitable access to housing and food stability while empowering every individual to grow and thrive,” the mission statement concludes.

“In light of the social and political environment we find ourselves in, we believed it was irresponsible to not re-evaluate our reputation and our role in our community,” said Share board director Elizabeth Fitzgearld in a statement. “In doing so, we put in intentional language that was affirming our commitment to equity and calling out, especially, the resilience of our clients.”

The committee was focused on full representation in the process, acknowledging that the best way to deliver services is to consult the people they want to serve, so the best way to put the mission into words is to have honest and difficult conversations with those same people.

“This mission is more inclusive, focusing on who, what, why and how,” said board director Pat Nuzzo in a statement. “It takes the whole community, and it benefits the whole community when every person counts.”

Share was founded in 1979 with the goal of caring for the homeless and hungry in the greater Vancouver area.

“We are proud of our 40 years of service to our community, but this is a different time, a different space and we are going to continue to evolve,” said Share Deputy Director Amy Reynolds.

The mission statement goes along with Share’s new website (www.sharevancouver.org) that was launched in late January.

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