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Social Connectedness Resources

Well before COVID, loneliness and social isolation were on the rise, both local and globally. Chronic loneliness is well documented to be as bad for your physical health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. One of the world’s foremost researchers on the topic said in 2020 that “being socially connected in meaningful ways is actually key to human health and survival.”

Knowing your neighbours and having strong social connections to lean on has profound positive impacts at any time. This is even more true when facing chronic stressors and emergencies, as both COVID and recent climate-related events have illustrated. Socially connected communities composed of neighbours that are able and willing to offer each other support are more resilient and prepared (and more fun!)

The co-op housing movement has always recognized the importance not only of secure tenure, affordable housing, but of neighbourly connections. But strong communities need regular nurturing and we’ve all just been through two years of ‘social distancing.’ What now?

Here is a list of resources to help you revive neighbourly social connections as COVID restrictions ease:

COVID-19: Together, Apart Toolkit Happy Cities

Hey Neighbour Recipe Book: A Resident Animator’s Guide (pdf) City of Vancouver

Resilient Streets Toolkit: The How-To Guide for Building Community (pdf) Building Resilient Neighbourhoods

Seniors Empowering Seniors website

Neighbourhood Small Grants Vancouver Foundation

Loneliness and Connection – Brene Brown with Dr. Vivek Murthy podcast

Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World book by Dr. Vivek Murthy

Greener Co-op Microgrants – CHF Canada