By Monique Fong, Assessing Community Readiness Coordinator, and Ed Bennett, Community Readiness Project Supervisor

Fall is in the air! The days are getting shorter and children, teens and young adults are back in school. This summer was extremely busy for the Community Readiness project and the next few months are sure to be the same.

In June we completed the Western Regional National Train-the-Trainer session in Vancouver where our Annual General Meeting took place. The organizations who participated in the session included: Blood Ties; Northern BC First Nations HIV/AIDS Coalition; Positive Living North; Stan Daniels Centre; AIDS Calgary; Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada; PASAN, and CATIE.

As part our session, we made sure to book a tour of InSite, Vancouver’s supervised injection site, and VANDU (Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users). Both are located in the city’s downtown Eastside. For many of our participants it was their first time to this part of the city, and as you can imagine, it was somewhat intimidating to them. However, the site visits are important in our work as they remind us why we are doing what we do for the people who need our help.

The theme of this newsletter speaks about the ‘Home Fire,’ and we at CAAN are working together with other organizations to help strengthen this fire. It is important that our community members know where to get support when they become infected or affected by HIV, Hepatitis C and any other blood-borne pathogens. At CAAN, we realize that we cannot be everywhere, so that is why our nationwide staff cherishes the partnerships we have nurtured.

We will continue to educate and provide support to our communities in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in September, where our next Community Readiness Training will be held. We are looking forward to meeting new people and helping them start their own Home Fire.

CAAN is currently under construction. Please check back soon for updates.