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."Just a little old neighbourhood in Prince George"
To get a feel for Prince George's VLA, we explore the neighbourhood with the mailman, and find out how many Christmas lights it takes to decorate the inner-city trailer park.
We also spoke to a Jackie Rioux. She used to deliver mail in the VLA, and says residents of "the hood" are targeted by money loans and fast-food flyers.
Former gang member avoids the VLA
Alia Pierni has seen the darkside of the VLA. As a gang member she was an "enforcer", performing violent acts to collect on debts. She has since left that life behind, and became a national star on the TV show "Redemption Inc." She says that today she tries to avoid the "hood" because of the memories of her former life.
The senior hood rat
Willow Arune is a former Vancouver lawyer who has retired to study history in Prince George's VLA. She's also a great storyteller: listen to her take on life in "the hood".
Find more coverage of the VLA, and get information about our community forum on January 24 on our special page dedicated to this series