Hello Jasper Place.
Due to the effects of COVID-19 on City of Edmonton finances and operations, I regret to inform you that my temporary assignment as the Jasper Place Revitalization Coordinator has ended prematurely. I will miss each of you with whom I have had the opportunity to connect and work with over the last year and a half.
I am proud of the work you have done to renew your community newspaper for the neighbourhoods participating in the Jasper Place Revitalization. The COVID-19 pandemic was not part of our conversations when we were planning for the relaunch of this newspaper. At the time of writing, we have been self-isolating for eight weeks. Schools and businesses remain closed, and many of the planned community projects that were outlined in the last issue have been put on hold.
The impact on individuals, families, and local organizations is significant, including job loss, housing shifts, and health impacts. The cancellation of social and recreational activities and reduced social services can cause fear, anxiety, boredom, and loneliness. Jasper Place communities are responding with compassion and creativity, as well as simple acts of kindness. I have heard stories of people buying groceries for one another, of impromptu online dance parties, and even outdoor Monopoly games. They have been reaching out in new online ways, and using apps such as Nextdoor to connect with neighbours from a distance.
There are also many organizations that are continuing to work to support people in the community. For example, with some of the food depots closing, the Jasper Place Wellness Centre, The Mustard Seed, and Fresh Routes have all continued to get food to community members that need it. If you would like to help, please reach out as volunteers are needed.
At the end of the day, community is no more than a nice idea unless we use it as such. Each one of us taking ownership to reach out to even just one person can make the difference between someone struggling in isolation, or finding a contact, a bit of key information, or a person to talk to when they may have had none.
While some revitalization projects are now on hold, there are others that can be adjusted to adhere to Alberta Health Services (AHS) public health orders and the City of Edmonton requirements to keep ourselves and our neighbours safe. If you have an idea and want to connect regarding Jasper Place Revitalization, please contact Serena De Souza (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It has been a real privilege for me to work in Jasper Place over the past year, and I’ve met many motivated, thoughtful, and caring people. You should all be proud of what you are creating in Jasper Place!