Participatory Governance of the 900 Pandora Block and the Street Community




Cross, Geoff

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In response to the continuing challenges of homelessness in Victoria, BC, a variety of homeless-serving agencies are active in the region. Community concerns about these services have given rise to the practice of developing Good Neighbour Agreements (‘GNA’) and forming Good Neighbour Groups (‘GNG’) with local community members to monitor the social services, mitigate conflict, and prevent undesired impacts on the neighbourhoods. Based in an interpretive description methodology using interviews and document analysis, the purpose of this research is to explore the involvement of the street community in the development of one GNA and subsequent governance activities of the associated GNG. Findings demonstrate that individuals from the street community generally have not been directly involved but instead represented by a local homeless-serving agency, a model of representation that has important limitations. Despite the lack of formal involvement, people from the street community continued to engage independently in neighbourhood matters, undertaking ongoing advocacy work that in turn helped to yield greater participation of the street community in the GNG.



homelessness, poverty, social inclusion, participatory governance, good neighbour agreement, non-profit management