All this week, CBC Daybreak North is running a special series called "At Home in the Hood: Stories from Prince George's VLA." The
VLA stands for "Veteran's Land Act" because the neighbourhood was
originally built to provide affordable housing for World War II
veterans. Today, it has a reputation for being poor and crime-ridden. We hope to get people talking about the challenges and solutions for the VLA.
Delivering supplies to those in need
It can be difficult for people living in the VLA to get supplies, which is where the Carrier Sekani Family Services soup bus
comes in. On Mondays and Wednesday it brings supplies- and other types of help- to those who need it. Patrick Coons started the service nearly a decade ago.
A safe haven, or a haven for parasitic people?
We round up a variety of perspectives on the VLA. A young woman says it's completely safe, another family moves away after too many break-ins, a city councillor wants to get ride of "parasitic people" who ruin the VLA for everyone else, and a resident uses four-legged friends to make sure all is well.
The neighbourhood watch gets called a snitch
Lee Stewart is proud of his home in the VLA, but a daylight shooting made him take action. He started a neighbourhood watch in order to "observe and report" everything that happens in his hood- and not everyone shares his point of view. Marissa Harvey shares the story.
Carrots in the garden, detox in the basement
Derek Joyce is a singer-songwriter and a nurse who decided to make the VLA is home. Along with his roommates, he's changing the house he lives in from a violent gang hangout to a community hangout. Wil Fundal pays a visit.
Find more coverage of the VLA, and get information about our community forum on January 24 on our special page dedicated to this series