REACH Edmonton

An inner-city neighbourhood will be getting a little extra help in fostering community engagement in the McCauley area.

After a need for coordination was identified by community members, REACH has hired Mark Davis as a part-time McCauley Community Coordinator to support community interaction, resource sharing and community engagement in the area.

“My role will be guided in partnership with the community, and will evolve in response to its ever-changing needs,” said Mark Davis, who began the position in August. “I will focus on building relationships, encouraging community engagement and assisting individuals and groups to connect to the resources they need. I will act as a conduit for the sharing of safety concerns and the information required to address them as effectively as possible.”

He comes to the position with 18 years of experience as an advocate for persons with intellectual disabilities, seven years as the co-owner of a still-successful Whyte Avenue business, and a degree in Anthropology and Native Studies from the University of Alberta.

“I’ve lived in McCauley for over 13 years, and McCauley is where my wife and I have chosen to raise a family,” said Davis. “I’m confident that my background will assist me in playing a neutral role in building community connections that will help make McCauley a safer place to live.”

During his years in McCauley, he has attended all manner of meetings and has had countless conversations regarding safety in the community.

“It’s evident that many residents are stressed by the safety issues they are facing; some are puzzled by the roles that various groups play in promoting safety; and some are fatigued by meetings and reporting mechanisms that may not yield the results they are looking for,” he said. “At times, I have felt these things myself.”

However, the desire to promote community connectedness appears to be stronger than ever.

“The number of individuals and organizations working to improve the community is impressive and inspiring. All of the stakeholders in McCauley share a mutual interest in making the community a safer place. Ultimately, all are pulling in the same direction,” he said. “By engaging as many stakeholders as possible and by encouraging them to pull together, a safer community is a goal that we can achieve.”