AAPA Seaports Advisory

Community Outreach: Prince Rupert, San Diego

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Prince Rupert: Port Authority Invests In Childhood Learning

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is strengthening the foundations of early learning in the community with its latest Community Investment Fund contribution.

With a $9,000 contribution from the fund, the Prince Rupert Growing Space Society was able to replace its supply of play mats. The center’s floors, well-worn due to the center’s popularity, require an extra layer of padding to ensure children have a safe landing for inevitable trip-ups.

The society welcomes more than 200 visitors a week to its location, where they learn new skills by using the indoor playground, crafting area and a diverse collection of toys and books.

Conceived as a volunteer mom-and-tot group at the Civic Centre in 1975, the Growing Space ran at various locations in the community before settling in at its current location in 1984. It has since become an important community asset for parents and caregivers of youngsters six and younger.

"We were able to replace the mats we purchased more than seven years ago with more durable, safer flooring that will meet the needs of children in the community for many years to come," said Society Elizabeth Melanson. "For many families and daycare providers in Prince Rupert, having a dedicated indoor space to escape the weather and get some extended physical activity is a blessing. And it really wouldn’t be possible without the generosity and support of community groups and businesses like the port."

"The fact that Prince Rupert has a volunteer society like the Growing Space is a testament to the importance placed on early childhood education and development in this community," said Port Authority President & CEO Don Krusel. "The work of this thriving family center has supported childhood growth and maturity for several generations. It is a joy to sustain that legacy through our Community Investment Fund."

The Community Investment Fund is a share of the port authority’s annual income that is earmarked for "local projects that contribute to the region's quality of life and create long lasting benefits." In combination with funding from other businesses, community groups and government agencies, the Community Investment Fund has enabled millions of dollars in local improvement projects since its inception in 2009. A playground, the harbor theater society, a music studio, a seamen’s center and a salmon cannery dock restoration are among the other recipients of Community Investment Fund donations.

San Diego: Port Continues Homeless Population Outreach through Alpha Project

As part of region-wide efforts to address homelessness, San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners recently authorized an agreement with Alpha Project Homeless Outreach Services to continue outreach and intervention services for people along the waterfront.

The Port of San Diego began working with Alpha Project in January 2014 to address an increase in homelessness issues along the waterfront over several years, as measured by police calls for service, tidelands maintenance and homeless census counts. On October 6, the board approved a $120,000 agreement for 15 months. A key goal of the partnership is to match individuals with available services through case worker-like outreach and intervention.

Alpha Project is a nonprofit human services organization that serves more than 4,000 people daily. Programs range from affordable housing to substance abuse treatment to employment training. The port and the Alpha Project participate in a new federal initiative to end homelessness and a county-wide effort to find solutions to humanely eradicate homelessness in San Diego County.

"Our efforts with the Alpha Project and other local agencies support the port’s vision to foster a world-class Port through excellence in public services," said Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Dan Malcolm. "The success we’ve seen with this program is due to the exceptional level of collaboration among several organizations."

Since January 2014, when the port began working with Alpha Project, calls to Harbor Police for service with homeless individuals have decreased, from 1,091 calls in 2013 to 960 in 2014 and just 469 during the first three quarters of 2015.

"Alpha Project is thrilled to continue our partnership with the Port of San Diego," commented Bob McElroy, Alpha Project’s CEO. "We are grateful for their support in addressing the homeless population and providing them with connections to services and housing."

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