People who volunteer are happier and healthier. Studies say they live longer, too. In Hastings Sunrise, they also make the community safer, cleaner and more livable.
Add it up and you get: the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre – a hub of neighbourhood safety and caring since 1999.
That’s the year when concerned citizens responded to escalating crime by founding a non-profit society to establish a community policing centre, first located at 2001 Wall Street. The Vancouver Police Department was invited to become a partner, and began to assign a Neighbourhood Police Officer (NPO) to be based at the HSCPC office.
However, the centre’s main message remained the same: that every citizen could play a part in enhancing safety and security by volunteering, or just by reporting all signs of criminal activity, big or small.
Over the years, the centre:
- Established core programs using volunteers to clean up litter, remove unwanted graffiti, conduct safety patrols, discourage speeding, promote safety education and respond to neighbourhood concerns and questions through its storefront office, now at 2620 East Hastings Street.
- Trained and supervised more than 100 volunteers a year, many of them going on to careers with municipal police forces and the RCMP.
- Developed a small but dedicated staff, under the guidance of a strong board of volunteer directors drawn from the community.
- Staged hundreds of community-enhancing events, including the annual Sunrise Summer Kickoff.
- Vigorously pursued and secured funding partners to supplement the partial funding it receives from the City of Vancouver (CoV).
- Instigated the organization of the Hastings North Business Improvement Association (HNBIA), with which it shares offices.
More recently it has joined with other caring organizations in our area to create the Hastings North Community Partners Group, with a joint vision of collaborating to build a welcoming and inclusive community.