BC Faith in Action

Who We Are

Faith in Action (FIA) is a group of people from diverse faith traditions and spiritual paths who are united by their concern for the poor and vulnerable in our province.

Our focus is to encourage governments and community groups to address the root causes of poverty in BC by creating systems of support that recognize the inherent dignity and worth of all citizens.

All who share this vision of a just and caring community are welcome to join us as we explore ways to promote transformative change and model the compassion we wish to see in the world.

How We Work

By consultation, collaboration and consensus, Faith in Action works:

  • to educate our members and faith communities about the needs of the poor
  • to provide resources, forums and venues that enable persons of faith to participate in finding creative solutions to identified problems and issues
  • to engage in an on-going conversation with all levels of government about the need to humanize the policies, services and programs that assist the poor
  • to communicate what has been learned to the news media and in the public arena.

What We've Done

Since our formation in December 2003, Faith in Action has:

  • met regularly to learn, share and take action
  • prepared print resources to assist faith communities in understanding the impacts of government policy decisions and legislation that directly impact the poor
  • organized "Begging for Justice" in 2010, a public engagement event on the steps of the Legislative Building designed to draw attention to the needs of the vulnerable, and to lift up begging as a spiritual practice
  • encouraged faith communities in Victoria to support the recommendations of the Mayor's Task Force on Breaking the Cycle of Mental Illness, Addictions and Homelessness
  • offered speakers and powerpoint presentations to community groups on poverty issues
  • arranged an information session for faith communities on how to utilize their own lands, buildings and human resources more effectively in order to create greater housing diversity
  • organized STAND's at which members stood in a public location and with signs, banners, and brochures in order to raise awareness about the need for homes for all
  • voiced concerns in special meetings with the Minister of Employment and Income Assistance as well as with members of the Opposition
  • produced two Faith in Action calendars (2005, 2006) that highlight how faith communities in Victoria are responding to the needs of the vulnerable
  • created this website to encourage resource sharing and individual action
  • written letters to politicians and news media about poverty and the way government is meeting its responsibilities
  • participated in the "Raise The Rates" campaign in October 2006 by holding a news conference
  • organized the Table of Plenty forum, where candidates for election, front-line anti-poverty workers, people of faith, and the poor explored the challenges that face us as a community in meeting needs with compassion and respect
  • organized a Day of Prayers for Compassion, a 12-hour multi-faith witness on the steps of the Legislative Buildings
  • participated in The First Steps Towards Understanding, a night spent learning what it means to be homeless on the streets of downtown Victoria

Symbols of Faith

Taking a Closer Look at the Issues

Government doesn't create poverty - but its policies can ease the problem or make it worse. Different political parties manage poverty in different ways, but none of them have come to grips with how to meet the needs of the poor in a manner that respects their dignity and confirms their self-worth. The fact is that half of the people who are forced by circumstances to seek social assistance remain on the rolls for three months or less...

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